War and Christian Ethics, 2nd Edition

Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Morality of War

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"This new edition has the same judicious selection of classic texts on war and peace as the first edition, plus some well-chosen new texts that put the collection in the center of the current debate. This book is ideal for classroom use and for anyone who wants to situate current debates within the full tradition of Christian thinking on war and peace."--William T. Cavanaugh, University of St. Thomas

Just war, pacifism, weapons of mass destruction, war on terror, preemptive war. These phrases highlight recent world events that have brought questions about the morality of war into sharp relief.

War and Christian Ethics looks to influential writers throughout history to determine the theoretical issues they faced while shaping a Christian criticism of war. It brings together primary source materials from the most influential patristic, medieval, and modern writers dealing with the morality of war from a variety of Christian perspectives. Writers include (among others):

Plato
Tertullian
Augustine
Bernard of Clairvaux
Thomas Aquinas
Martin Luther
Menno Simons
John Locke
Immanuel Kant
Reinhold Niebuhr
Paul Ramsey
Duane Friesen
George Weigel
Rowan Williams

Instead of advocating a particular approach to war, this collection provides the "theoretical bases on which we must formulate our own conclusions," writes editor Arthur Holmes. In exploring these writings, those seeking to investigate the relationship between Christianity and war are able to decide for themselves what they believe. The second edition includes new selections from Rowan Williams, George Weigel, and Duane Friesen.


Endorsements

"This new edition has the same judicious selection of classic texts on war and peace as the first edition, plus some well-chosen new texts that put the collection in the center of the current debate. Duane Friesen's article represents the new movement to take pacifism in the direction of peacemaking and raises provocative questions on the relation of policing to war. The debate between George Weigel and Rowan Williams addresses urgent questions of state responses to terrorism in the context of the ongoing conflict in Iraq. This book is ideal for classroom use and for anyone who wants to situate current debates within the full tradition of Christian thinking on war and peace."--William T. Cavanaugh, associate professor of theology, University of St. Thomas


The Author

  1. Arthur F. Holmes

    Arthur F. Holmes

    Arthur F. Holmes (1924-2011) taught philosophy at Wheaton College for over forty years. He received his PhD from Northwestern University and was the author or editor of many books, including Contours of a World View, Ethics: Approaching Moral...

    Continue reading about Arthur F. Holmes

Reviews

"In times where religious categories are increasingly invoked to explain or justify political conflicts, few themes are more relevant than the morality of war analyzed from the standpoint of Christian ethics. For this reason, the second edition of . . . Holmes's comprehensive anthology on the subject is a welcome republication. It again makes a broad collection of resources available for undergraduates as a single volume in a way that encourages them to develop their own ethical perspectives in the context of historical Christian thought."--R. Keelan Downton, Reviews in Religion and Theology

Praise for the first edition:
"An exceedingly useful anthology. . . . [Holmes] has selected what in my judgment are the crucial texts in the development of the just-war tradition in Christian thought."--James Gustafson, Journal of Religion