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When War is Unjust……is it ever….just???

When War is Unjust

Being honest in Just-War Thinking

by John Howard Yoder

When War Is Unjust : Being Honest in Jus...


While in college, I majored in the “Comparative Study of the Worlds Religions”

and one of the many semester long seminars I took was

Violence in Religion

of which this book was required reading.

offsides: as part of the class we also had

to watch slingblade and then discuss how/when

violence in the movie was justifiable

Sling Blade (1996) Poster

Decidedly during the course of the seminar

it was decided that there are virtually no

easy answers

when we are questioning whether or not

a certain act of violence was just

but with the help of Yoder’s book we

can at least begin to think about

how we as a country

how we as a humanity

think about and address violence

both in the world and

in our daily lives

So a few quotes from the book:

“I believe that any culture that does not adopt the pacifist ethic-and no culture as a whole in today’s world has done so-must develop some guidelines restraining the use of force”(page xiii)

“The implication (of the name “just war”) is that a given war can be-objectively and theoretically–just.  this suggests that a war or war in general, may be viewed as a positive good.” (page xv)

“Legitimate is less than good, as justified is less than just.  War is an evil, a harm, which in a special case may be admitted for the sake of some other value it defends.  It is not a good in itself”(page 11)

Is there a just war?

how do we determine if a war is just and worth defending or condemning?

this book is academic, and theological

and will leave you reconsidering what you believe

is a

“Just War”


on Just War

and finally an article by Yoder

on Just War Tradition

About ellasurreau

I was first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.

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