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United Methodists & War

October 21, 2015

To my knowledge Methodism has never in official statements explained traditional Christian just war teaching. So I’ve submitted this resolution, which my scholar colleague Marc LiVecche thoughtfully drafted for me.

U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, left, watches as the foreign minister Manoru Shigemitsu of Japan signs the surrender document aboard the USS Missouri on Tokyo Bay, Sept. 2, 1945.   Lt. General Richard K. Sutherland, center, witnesses the ceremony marking the end of World War II with other American and British officers in background.

IRD: Atomic Blast Anniversary Recalls Christian Realism

August 7, 2015

“Tomorrow’s peace and security depends on a realistic Christian view of our fallen world, where war, poverty and oppression are the historic norms,” says IRD President Mark Tooley.


War is Not Hell

June 18, 2015

Pacifism claims that war is morally evil and therefore the presence of warfighters in the church is an anomaly. Against this, an understanding of just war grounded in Christian love renders warfighting a Christian vocation.

Members of the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, make their way through concertina wire during a live fire demonstration for Saudi Arabian national guardsmen. The demonstration is taking place during Operation Desert Shield. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Task at Hand

May 13, 2015

In her excellent biography of Ronald Reagan, Peggy Noonan relates an episode involving a little boy, the son of a Reagan staffer, who was running through the White House hallways with a plastic sword….

Graham House RH Marc LiVecche in the UChicago Creative studio Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, at the University of Chicago.    (Photo by Robert Kozloff)

IRD Announces New Christian Ethicist on War & Peace

May 11, 2015

IRD announced today that Marc LiVecche has joined the institute as its new scholar on Christian ethics, war and peace.

Cain and Abel by Tintoretto

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…

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.