When War Is Unjust: Being Honest in Just-War Thinking

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Augsburg Publishing House, 1984 - Religion - 95 pages
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Can any war really be considered "just"? If so, which wars, and under what circumstances? If not, why not? When War Is Unjust provides a systematic exploration of these questions for students of ethics, Christian doctrine, and history. For centuries the just-war tradition has been the dominant framework for Christian thinking about organized conflict. This tradition sets a number of specific conditions which must be satisfied before a particular war can termed "just" and therefore supportable by the faithful Christian. John Howard Yoder, himself a pacifist, approaches the just-war theory on its own terms. His purpose: to introduce the student to this just-war tradition, and to offer a critical framework for evaluating its tenets and applying them to real conflicts. When War Is Unjust takes the just-war tradition seriously, and holds its proponents accountable in a critical debate about when - if ever - war can be justified. It is a readable and thought-provoking primer on the history, criteria, and application of just-war teaching in Christian churches. Study guides and a bibliography, as well as helpful responses from Charles Lutz (Lutheran) and Drew Christiansen (Roman Catholic) make this an ideal text for undergraduate ethics courses, peace studies, and individuals interested in exploring the meaning and application of just-war theory.

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Introduction by Charles P Lutz
The JustWar Tradition in Its Medieval Context
Hopes for Limiting War

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About the author (1984)

John Howard Yoder (1926-1997), a highly influential Mennonite theologian, was Professor of Theology and Teaching Fellow in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is best known for his 1972 magnum opus The Politics of Jesus, as well as The Original Revolution: Essays on Christian Pacifism, The Priestly Kingdom, and The Royal Priesthood, among others.

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