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The Just War Revisited (Current Issues in Theology) [Paperback]

By Oliver O'Donovan (Author)
Our Price $ 26.34  
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Item Number 156661  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   152
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.94" Width: 6.16" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.51 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2009
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  0521538998  
EAN  9780521538992  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Leading political theologian Oliver O'Donovan here takes a fresh look at some traditional moral arguments about war. Modern Christians differ widely on this issue. A few hold that absolute pacifism is the only viable Christian position, others subscribe in various ways to concepts of 'just war' developed out of a Western tradition that arose from the legacies of Augustine and Aquinas, while others still adopt more pragmatically realist postures. Professor O'Donovan re-examines questions of contemporary urgency including the use of biological and nuclear weapons, military intervention, economic sanctions, war crimes trials and the roles of the Geneva Convention, international conventions and the UN. His enquiry opens with a challenging dedication to the new Archbishop of Canterbury and proceeds to shed new light on vital topics with which the Archbishop and others will be very directly engaged. It should be read by anyone concerned with the ethics of warfare.

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More About Oliver O'Donovan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Oliver O'Donovan is a fellow of the British Academy and professor emeritus of Christian ethics and practical theology at the University of Edinburgh. His other books include The Desire of the Nations, The Ways of Judgment, andResurrection and Moral Order.

Oliver O'Donovan has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Oxford Oxford University University of Oxford University.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
good overview of the classical just-war position  Apr 11, 2006
The just-war position has often been misunderstood and wrongly applied to try justify conflict that has already begun. This book does a good job of returning to a classic understanding of the theory of a just war. However, the author makes some large assumptions about the state of humanity and forgets that we are incapable of perceiving justice in a manner that is in a state of grace without the flaws of sin and subjective judgment.
good book, but I disagree with O'Donovan  Mar 22, 2006
The book is a compilation of lecture essays that were delivered in Scotland (I think). He takes contemporary issues in war and peace and holds them up to the just war tradition and carves a path between liberal and conservative assumptions on issues such as nuclear warfare, urban guerilla warfare, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and their relation to a Christian political theology.

Although I am extremely uncomfortable with the ease with which O'Donovan speaks about justifiable wars; I was impressed with his articulation of discrimination in warfare. I am quite happy that the just war conversation has such well-articulate 'fans'; yet his connection of this tradition to the Christian Church and faith is disturbing.

His most problematic theological assumption is that the current 'dispensation' (a term he doesn't use, but assumes) is such that warfare is a proper expression of the judgment of the state. In his brief mention of eschatology, he suggests that since the kingdom of God is off in some distant future; the state and its warfare are necessary, and God gifted, provisional instruments used in God's justice-purposes. In other words, Christ's focal message of 'God's kingdom come' is completely left aside in favor of a quasi-realist, quasi-pragmatic practice of violent judgment.

I just wanted to ask O'Donovan if all this nitpicking about just causes, just weapons, and appropriate discrimination of attacks would have made any difference to Jesus who could be found, in all likelihood, among the ashes and the dying of any given war. Is any war 'just' that leaves children ripped to shreds? Challenging, good, and frustrating read...

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