Just war theory - Historical Theology

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jan 6 2021 9:24 PM

I am looking for resources that show the history of this doctrine from inception to today. Any suggestions?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 6 2021 9:59 PM

Well this starts from 430 or so and gives you links to a variety of resources The Church's Just War Theory - Part 1 (catholiceducation.org)

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Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 7 2021 12:59 AM

Preston Sprinkle does a good quick survey of the OT, NT, and early church views in Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence (David Cook, 2013).

Charles & Demy use a question-and-answer format to argue for a just-war perspective in War, Peace, and Christianity: Questions and Answers from a Just-War Perspective (Crossway, 2010).

You'll need to include Aquinas' Summa Theologica for the Catholic perspective, and Catechism of the Catholic Church §2309 for how it's taught today.

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Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 7 2021 2:05 PM

Blair Laird:

... from inception to today.


By "inception" you mean something like "from the beginning", am I correct?

Here are some sources, books and encyclopedia articles.

You might want to check out these resources: Living Wisely with the Church Fathers by Christopher A. Hall. He has total something on the subject on just war from St. Augustine, A closer look at the possibility of just war, Under what conditions can just war be conducted? and How must just war be waged?

Here’s the original source directly by St. Augustine.

Thomas Aquinas on whether it’s always sinful to wage war in his Summa Theologica.

Martin Luther has his thoughts on just war in the Annotated Luther, vol. 5. with the title Just Wars: Wars of Necessity vs. Wars of Selfish Desire.

C. S. Lewis has his take on The Conditions for a Just War in his book God in the Dock.

Jürgen Moltmann has this topic covered on his On human dignity: Political Theology and Ethics, with the headings The doctrine of “just war.”

Nigel W. Oakley has a book Engaging Politics?, which has total 4 small chapters on the just war theme, Coercion, punishment and just war, Just war and how we got there, Modern Just War Theory—jus ad bellum, and Modern Just War Theory—jus in bello.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity has an article on the Christian encounters with war, also on the just war theory.

Maybe these point you forward in your study?

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 10 2021 10:15 AM

Hi Blair:

Looking up in my library a couple of resources came up. I am surprised that in one of the best organized Historical Theology the concept is not mentioned.

I did find the following that pretty much sums the Bird's eye view on the topic:

"I then went on to explain that there is a difference between murder and killing. Murder is the wanton and unjustified taking of another life. Killing—tragic though it is—can, from a biblical perspective, sometimes be justified. God’s Word gives people and nations the right to self-defense. Romans 13 explains that “the governing authorities” (which scholars understand to include governments, soldiers, police) are allowed to exist by God’s permission. Not only are such societal entities sanctioned by God, but as verse 4 also explains, “Rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”

The carnage of war is something that, of course, saddens the heart of any sane person. But soldier and civilian will be either admitted to or excluded from heaven based on their response to Jesus Christ. The old veteran and I sat for a good half hour talking about what scholars would call “just-war theory.”"

 McFarland, A., Perkins, T., & Stonestreet, J. (2014). 10 issues that divide christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House.

Many times I have read that killing in a self-defense mode is considered something different than murdering for ungodly intentions.

One hard question is: what if the Rulers wield the sword for an ungodly intention, should one detach from conscious objection?

One thing is to defend your family from an invading force, but another different is to go abroad to fight for an ideology (mostly political).

The following resource seems to touch on the topic, but maybe not as detailed as you want it:

Cahill, L. S. (2019). Blessed are the peacemakers: pacifism, just war, and peacebuilding. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Hope some of the above is of help.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2021 3:21 AM

Basic Search idea for Just War articles OR chapters: (can be used in Web app)

([field heading,largetext] just) NEAR war

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