Christianity and the just war tradition : is it possible to be a good citizen while being a good Christian?
Heuser, Philip M.
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Christians are faced with a difficult decision when required to engage in war. By studying the ideas of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as more recent scholars, the logic of the just war tradition is examined. In opposition to this, the arguments of John Yoder, a proponent of Christian pacifism, are also analyzed. The key differences between these viewpoints is the level of responsibility Christians should assume in directing historic events. The pacifist argument is that humility and suffering in faith by Christians wins the ultimate victory for good. The just war advocates state that military service is sometimes an obligation, as a way of better loving others i.e. through ending injustice. By comparing strictly controlled warfare to an extended, international police protective act, it can be seen that it can be a Christian’s duty to fight, out of love, for others.