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Virtue Of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West [Paperback]

By Alexander Webster (Author) & Darrell Cole (Author)
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Item Number 102836  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   234
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.61"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 27, 2007
Publisher   Regina Orthodox Press
ISBN  1928653170  
EAN  9781928653172  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Professor Webster and Cole explore in detail the great moral teachings found in Holy Scripture, the ancient and Byzantine Church Fathers, canon law, manuals of penance, lives of the saints, liturgical texts, visual icons, the medieval Scholastics, the great Reformers, and even among modern theologians and literary authors. They present a powerful, genuinely ecumenical, meticulously documented, incontrovertible case on behalf of the moral teachings known to Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians as the just or justifiable war traditions. This book provides a firm biblical, theological, and historical foundation for that confidence and is an incontrovertible answer to the "Christian" peace movement.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
More Propaganda from "Christian" Warmongers  Jul 8, 2008
I rated this item 1 star, only because I was not permitted to rate it a zero.

'It is startling to realize that so many Orthodox leaders would equate U.S. military intervention with "terrorism."'

Why is this realization "startling"? The U.S. has been involved in worldwide terrorism for decades. The CIA has admitted to this and in fact has coined the term "blow back" to describe the resultant backlash which culminated in the horror of September 11, 2001. One clear and irrefutable example of U.S. terrorism is the overthrow of Iran's secular leader, Mosadeqh, and his replacement with American puppet dictator Shah, who brutalized his own people to such extent that the Iranian people overthrew him and converted their secular nation to an Islamic State as a reactionary defense, with the Ayatollah Khomeini as its leader. The U.S. government's foreign policy of regime change, nation building, empire building and worldwide military interventionism have resulted in the murder, oppression, famine, starvation and brutality, all which led to the blow back of 9/11. The U.S.'s moral and financial support of Israel and its oppression of Palestinians is just more fuel added to the fire of anger around the world. To be startled by the equating of America's foreign policy with terrorism shows ignorance. To condone America's atrocities around the globe shows a distorted moral compass.

'The "Plea" also asserts that the "United States is ready to overthrow him by any means"--an egregious falsehood.'

This "egregious falsehood" was proven true. Saddam Hussein was caught, arrested, put on trial and executed by hanging from the neck till dead. Is there any more doubt about America's intentions?

To believe that war is a virtue is to declare oneself a worshiper of the god-state and a follower of the fascist, neoconservative War Party. War is murder on a massive scale, and the Bible calls it a grave sin.

If war were a virtue, Jesus would have called upon all His followers to take up swords and fight against the Roman empire. Yet He did not. As a matter of fact, upon His arrest, Jesus told the apostle who tried to defend him to drop his knife, that this was not Christ's way. The apostles made clear that the enemies of the Christian were spiritual, not fleshly; and that the armor a Christian should put on is moral and spiritual, not made from steel and iron. We are also instructed to live not follow the ways of the world, even though we live within it. There is no such thing as a "just war," especially when it is waged unjustly, not upon its own soil in defense of its own soil, but through invasion of other sovereign nations who had nothing to do with 9/11, for oil, precious resources and for the expansion of the United States empire.
This is just what we need...  Aug 7, 2007
Yeah, we really need more war and more religious extremists with weapons. Did you ever pause to think that maybe "they" think they are just as well and that the word "righteous" is subjective?
Everyone should read this book  Mar 30, 2007
I just had to comment because of the last rude comment. Everyone is entitled to their opinion so here is mine. The Virtue of War is a fabulous piece of writing that will open up your mind to new thoughts about something that has plagued generation after generation. I commend the writers on a fine piece of work and feel sorry for others who obviously missed the point when reading this book.

Dr. Haty Kahn Ph.D. Theology Columbia University
A hypocritical piece of garbage  Mar 26, 2007
War is not to be glorified. Those who do - in this case two idiots who converted to Orthodoxy from the far right wings of Protestantism - attempt to do so. Sometimes, unfortunately, wars must be fought. That is how St. Augustine, who happens to be my personal saint, thought. His thoughts, and he was a great man, on war were basically that a state had a right to defend itself and in extreme cases, wage civil war against an unjust government who oppresses and destroys the people. The fact that this book support preemptive strikes is an insult to Orthodoxy, and insult to Christianity, an insult to the Church fathers, an insult to St. Augustine, and an insult to Our Lord himself, who was the price of peace and told us to turn the other cheek.

An unfortunate virus has entered into the consciousness of some Orthodox converts here in the United States. It comes from accepting converts with solid evangelical backgrounds. Writing a book about the "Virtues of War" is something you would more likely find in a evangelical bookstore, not a Orthodox one. For Orthodox, war and all forms of violence are sinful and they should be avoided if they can be. Yes, there have been cases of even monks defending themselves against aggressors in monasteries in Russia. Note the word DEFENDING yourself.

How sad that a book like this was written. Orthodoxy is concerned with the curing of souls, not with the murdering of other people. For biblical scholars with no combat experience to expound on some Old Testament passages to justify war is laughable.

Fortunately, I think this book will die out quickly and never be seen again in the next 10 years. It just should be duly noted that this book does not in any way represent the views of most Orthodox Christians. So many Orthodox come from war-torn parts of the world such as the Balkans, Armenia, Romanian, parts of Russia such as Chechnya - and they have seen the reality of war in all its "glory."

This book is best ignored, as are most of the books from the section of Orthodoxy that want to bring the merry fun of killing people from crazed Protestant sects into their new Church. Prayer is the best weapon against the writers of this book, and indeed any book that employs manipulative Hemmingwayesque glorifications of war.

Just Warfare  Oct 28, 2006
The preeminence of pacifism within the Church as the proper reaction to military conflict is so established within contemporary Christianity that it is sometimes forgotten that this has not been the historic Christian position. Orthodox theologians Alexander F. C. Webster and Darrell Cole remind us of this fact in The Virtue of War, an important apologia for the Christian tradition of the just war.

Webster and Cole begin with the turmoil democracies - centered primarily in nations with a Christian tradition - face with the onslaught of Islamic terrorism as in the 9/11 murder of innocent civilians. The authors immediately make an important distinction between the Christian tradition of justifiable war in order to defend the people of God from unprovoked aggression and the Islamic ideal of jihad that defends the idea of launching attacks upon non-Muslim neighbors for the purpose of extending Muslim controlled areas.

After noting the division caused in the Church by the influence of modern liberal thinking on war, the authors then turn to a thorough examination of the Orthodox view of war and its justification in Holy Scripture, Church Fathers, Church Canons, Saints, Liturgies, and more modern Orthodox theologians. The breadth of this powerful tradition - often ignored in contemporary commentary - puts to rest any argument that the Eastern Church has largely been pacifist. Warfare is not only under certain circumstances justifiable, but is itself virtuous and not merely a "lesser of two evils." In this tradition, the Christian warrior protecting the people of God is seen as a noble and necessary calling to be respected within the Church.

Webster and Cole then turn to the Western Church and see a similar position developed and taking hold within both the Catholic and Protestant traditions. The most renowned figures in both Catholicism (St. Ambrose, St. Augustine of Hippo, St Thomas Aquinas) and Protestantism (Martin Luther, John Calvin) all supported the idea of the just war although their presentations and arguments may have varied in approach. The authors also consider the writings of the Dutch Calvinist Hugo Grotius who represents the apex of the Protestant just war tradition.

Turning then to the opponents of the just war tradition, the authors demonstrate both their failure to consider the whole counsel of God and their neglect of the witness of two millennia of the Church and its Great Tradition. The weaknesses of the modern approach are surveyed and its inability to contend with aggressive evil noted.

Now that the Church is face-to-face with an aggressor who seeks our destruction, it is imperative that we reclaim the Christian concept of just war and not be cowed into believing that we are forbidden to defend ourselves. With The Virtue of War, Professors Webster and Cole have done the Church a great service in reminding us of the great heritage of the Christian warrior. If only the Church will listen...

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