Just-war theory was set in motion in the 5th century as St. Augustine agonized over how to reconcile Christianity's high ethical ideals with the devastating world realities which were bringing about the fall of Rome. For 1,600 years, theologians, ethicists, diplomats, and political leaders have drawn on this tradition, refined it, and employed its key questions: When is it permissible to wage war? And how might our ethical and religious foundations place limits on the ways we wage war?
In this program, we explore three varied perspectives on how such questions are alive and evolving today, and how they might inform our approach to the conflict in Afghanistan and the peace we would like to achieve beyond it.
is Laura Spelman Rockefeller professor of social and political ethics at the University of Chicago. She is a renowned political theorist, with a special interest in the morality of war, whose counsel is sought by seminaries, military academies, and national political leaders. Her publications include Women and War; Augustine and the Limits of Politics; The Just War Theory; and Who are We? Critical Reflections and Hopeful Possibilities.
is a leading Mennonite theologian/activist who pioneered the adaptation of his tradition's pacifist "theology of involvement" into regions of deep and intractable violence across the world. He is professor of peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University and a distinguished scholar at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and author of Fire in the Hole. Raised Catholic and patriotic, he left his studies at Kent State University to fight in Vietnam. His book is the culmination of long reflection on the reality and the morality of war, with relevance both to the war he entered in 1968 and the conflict we have entered now.