Roger S. Nam


Roger S. Nam, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at George Fox University, and the author of Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings (Brill, 2012). He lives in Lake Oswego, Ore., with his wife and two children. 

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Pacifism in the Scariest Place on Earth

by Roger S. Nam 10-12-2012
Michelle Gilders / Getty Images

South Korea, Demilitarized Zone, Large DMZ sign at the Third Tunnel of Aggression site. Michelle Gilders / Getty Images

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between the two Koreas along with a group of students and faculty from George Fox University. As the most fortified border on the entire planet, the DMZ contains an arsenal of tanks, land mines, watchtowers, razor wires, artillery, and nearly two million armed troops ready to face off within a moment’s notice. Former President Bill Clinton described the DMZ as the “scariest place on earth,” a description more eerie coming from one of the few people in history to have had direct access to the “button.”

While observing the various sites within the DMZ, I thought about how the pacifist Quakers, who founded my school in 1885, would have reacted to such an experience.