The Sword, the Cross, and the Eagle: The American Christian Just War Tradition

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9780742562592: The Sword, the Cross, and the Eagle: The American Christian Just War Tradition

The Sword, the Cross, and the Eagle explores how Christian principles and the natural law tradition consider the use of military force and how they support the just war tradition over other moral traditions of war. By promoting the use of offensive war as justifiable under a just war rationale, the book challenges the Christian communityOs basic assumptions regarding the use of force. In this book, Davis Brown persuasively argues that the just war tradition drives the contemporary military ethos and statecraft of the United States. As the worldOs only superpower and the worldOs standard-bearer for democracy, the United States has more armed forces stationed or deployed outside its borders than all other countries combined. Because of this, the conduct of the United States--for good or ill--has enormous ramifications on the development of norms in international law and statecraft. It therefore behooves the international community to appreciate what values the United States seeks to advance when it resorts to military force.

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About the Author:

Davis Brown is director of the Just War Theory Project for the Academic Council on the United Nations System, an international institute of scholars and practitioners that reevaluate the role of war, intervention, and rebellion. He is also an attorney and has been a visiting scholar at George Washington University.

Review:

In a context marked by an increasingly broad—and too often badly understood—use of just war language and concepts in a variety of academic fields, Davis Brown's The Sword, the Cross, and the Eagle offers a thoughtful and suggestive focusing of the just war idea by reference to its roots in Christian thought and ethics. The book then applies the resulting conception to three of the most important contemporary problems for the ethics of war: the questions of just rebellion, humanitarian intervention, and nuclear war. Its contributions on both the level of theory and practical application make it a substantive contribution to the ongoing debate over ethics and war, one that should be digested and taken seriously by anyone engaged with these issues. (Johnson, James Turner)

Brown offers a clear, comprehensive introduction to the Christian just war tradition....Recommended. Two-star review. (Choice)

Davis Brown distinguishes the Christian just war tradition, which values justice over peace, from the comparative perversities of modern international law, which appears to value peace over justice. This book makes a significant contribution to the literature in its attempt to reclaim the idea of a just, offensive war. The author makes use of the most important primary sources and elucidates that material in a reader-friendly way that cannot help but impress. (Darrell Cole)

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Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publisher (2008)
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