Politics, Justice, and War: Christian Governance and the Ethics of Warfare

Just war theory represents an effort to clarify under what conditions it may be permissible for some people to intentionally kill others. The theory has deep roots in the Christian ethical tradition, but a variety of positions have emerged over the years that propose different answers to the question of when deadly force is justified.
Catholic University professor Joseph Capizzi discussed the importance of reconnecting just war theory to a political theory based on the thought of St. Augustine as the foundation for determining when the use of violence is justified. He explained how this approach illuminates that a just war requires the “right intention” of seeking an ordered peace as its objective. The United States Naval Academy's Edward Barrett and Georgetown professors John Langan, S.J., and Drew Christensen, S.J., offered commentary based on diverse philosophical and theological perspectives. Georgetown Law Center's Mitt Regan moderated the discussion.

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; the Center for National Security and the Law at the Georgetown Law Center; and the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the United States Naval Academy.

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