Reclaiming the just war tradition
Politicians, pundits, and scholars have cited the principles of "just war" to defend military actions from Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya. Other politicians, pundits, and scholars have cited just war principles to condemn those same military interventions. How can the same tradition lead to such sharply opposing conclusions? What is the just war tradition, and why is it important today? Authors David D. Corey and J. Daryl Charles answer those questions in this insightful exploration. A fascinating blend of history, theology, and political philosophy, The Just War Tradition: An Introduction traces the development of the tradition from its inception nearly two millennia ago. Corey and Charles illuminate how the various voices within the tradition--from Augustine and Aquinas, to Luther and Calvin, to Su rez and Locke, up to present-day commentators--relate to one another and to rival ways of understanding war and peace. While the just war tradition cannot be reduced to a checklist, a bare catalog of criteria that must be fulfilled for war to be just, Corey and Charles reveal why this rich tradition provides the only framework for evaluating the moral particulars of coercive force. Their invaluable book reintroduces the wisdom that is desperately needed in our national debates.
David D. Corey teaches political philosophy at Baylor University. His teaching and scholarship focus on major figures in the history of political thought, the ethics of war, and questions relating to method in political philosophy. J. Daryl Charles is director and senior fellow of the Bryan Institute for Critical Thought and Practice. He is author, coauthor, or coeditor of ten other books, including War, Peace, and Christianity and Between Pacifism and Jihad.