A Basic Guide to the Just War Tradition
An author with decades of experience in the military, the US State Department, and the classroom offers a concise, accessible introduction to the just war tradition from a Christian perspective.
This brief introduction surveys Christian thinking on an array of topics related to security and peace from a just war perspective. Drawing primarily on Scripture and theology, Eric Patterson explores the moral dimensions of order, justice, and peace in light of key Christian doctrines such as love of neighbor, stewardship, vocation, and sphere sovereignty. He also examines the perennial questions of civil disobedience, terrorism, revolution, and holy war (including a discussion of Israel's removal of the Canaanites and the Crusades) and interacts with theological thinkers throughout Christian history. The volume concludes with a treatment of punishment and restitution, considering how these can help move a society toward conciliation.
While ideal as a textbook for courses on Christian ethics, theology and politics, and church and society, this book will also appeal to pastors and lay readers questioning the morality of war and Christians' involvement in force. Christians who serve in government, law enforcement, and the military will also find helpful guidance for thinking theologically about their vocations.