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Perpetual Peace

February 10, 2015

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” While watching snippets of the January 23-25 Interfaith Conference On Drone Warfare at Princeton Theological Seminary, I was intrigued by the…

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The Moral Necessity of Rage

February 4, 2015

A memory invades: it is of my first significant, disequilibrating confrontation with the reality of human evil. At four or five-years-old I had descended the stairs in our old family home to find my…


Stanley Hauerwas, Nigel Biggar & Just War vs. Pacifism

December 24, 2014

Recently famed American pacifist Stanley Hauerwas of Duke Divinity School had a cordial radio debate with British just war advocate Nigel Biggar of Oxford University, who authored the 2013 book In Defence of War….

Christians from Mosul took refuge in this Iraqi town before ISIS attacked, forcing them to flee again. (Photo credit:  Allen Kakony for Aletia)

Is ISIS Prompting Reappraisal of Pacifism and Just War?

August 21, 2014

ISIS invasion of Iraq and subsequent horrors, for which Iraq’s dwindling Christian minority is a chief victim, has reanimated talk about Christian Just War teaching.


The Ghost of Congress’ Past: Foreign Policy and Just War Theory

June 13, 2014

Enthralling stories instilling national pride. Practical advice on reaching across the aisle (despite their lack of authority to take further action). Entertaining interactions with fellow panelists and the audience. Even most of the audience members seemed to have their questions answered. Except me.


Just War, Terrorism, and Christian Ethics

December 31, 2013

Let begin by a quick definition of terrorism. In broad terms I take terrorism to be deliberate acts of violence targeted at innocent civilians for political purposes. Before I take up the issue of just war let me prepare the ground by looking at the main alternative in Christian ethics, namely, pacifism.


Press Release – IRD Lecturer: On Terrorism and Christian Ethics, Pacifism Falls Short

October 11, 2013

Washington, DC-Both pacifism and an overly-strict Just War Theory are unworkable responses to the War on Terror, theologian William Abraham argued Monday at the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Diane Knippers Lecture.


A Jesuit Challenge to Winston Churchill

October 9, 2013

A priest writing in the Jesuit magazine America has cited Winston Churchill’s destruction of the Vichy-controlled French fleet in 1940 as an example of gratuitous violence, like abortion or capital punishment.


Syria, War and America’s Christians

September 20, 2013

The prospect of U.S. military action against Syria’s dictatorship has unusually united in opposition nearly all U.S. church and major Christian voices who have publicly spoken to the issue. Such uniformity is very unusual, and this episode may be a first.

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Jean Elshtain, Christianity, and War

August 30, 2013

A leading American theologian of just war has died. Will she have successors?

The famed Christian ethicist Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago died earlier this month. She was notable as the increasingly rare theologian willing vigorously to affirm America’s right to self-defense in the world, resisting the crosscurrents of pacifism that now afflict much of Christian academia.

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Drone policy can be moral policy

August 16, 2013

In a recent contribution for On Faith, former Chicago Theological Seminary President Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite denounced U.S. drone warfare for failing to “conform to Just War theory as developed over centuries of conventional wars.”

Earlier this year, Baptist ethicist David Gushee, in his piece for On Faith, opined against drones as exemplifying a “disturbing combination of American arrogance and self-righteousness.”

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Onward Christian Soldiers: Old Testament Violence and Evangelical Socio-Political Engagement (Video)

July 25, 2013

Dr. Phillip Bethancourt, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, discusses how Christians should approach the often troubling violence found in the Old Testament. This talk took place Thursday, July 18, 2013.