Archive Category: Just War: From Augustine To George W. (In Progress)

Just War Part 9: Hugo Grotius

By the time Hugo Grotius was born in 1583, Catholicism had lost it’s monopoly on faith in Europe. Martin Luther nailed his theses up in Wittenberg, the Reformation spread, giving birth to Protestantism – and then Protestantism split into factions of its own. Grotius was Holland’s attorney general and a… Read More

Just War Part 8: De Vitoria (When No One’s Right)

As the sun set on the middle ages a new generation of Just War thinkers rose to prominence, seeing the world through a new lens their predecessors never accounted for: colonialism.  It was the sixteenth century and Columbus sailed the ocean blue, bringing Mother Spain’s armed conquistadors with him and… Read More

Just War Part 7: Jus Ad Bellum & Jus In Bello

Once these major contributions to Just War thinking by warriors (knights) and the Church (Augustine and Aquinas) were made and largely accepted among Catholics of the Middle Ages, the tradition of Just War was taught as having two components: the right to go to war and the right conduct of… Read More

Just War Part 6: Chivalry

Picking up where we left off with Augustine and Aquinas, the next major development in the evolution of Just War doctrine was chivalry – the code of conduct followed by the knights of the Middle Ages.  Chivalry imposed upon warriors a set of regulations for the conduct of war(1).  Since… Read More

Just War Part 5: Natural Law

Aquinas wasn’t just under the influence, to some degree, of Catholic crusaders though.  He was also blazing a new trail for Catholic theologians by allowing the writings of Aristotle and other non-theologians/philosophers to color his thinking on God.  Specifically, Aquinas was among the first to say out loud that he… Read More

Just War Part 4: Crusades

The main benefit to me in studying Just War has been gaining a better understanding of how we Christians have historically decided what is “right” and “wrong”.  What influences theologians and people like you and me as we make such weighty decisions?  What should influence us? Today’s backtracks to look… Read More