Military, War, Armed Conflict

La Diritta Via: An Ethical Response to Terror

[1] Determining the ethical response to the al-Qaeda’s terrorist acts is a difficult endeavor; analysts soon find themselves lost in the selva oscura arising midway through the path towards international order. Positive initiatives intended to deal with the threat of terrorism often run aground on the requirement that a state adopt effective, rather than idealistic, […]

JLE Portfolio: Just Peace and Just Peacemaking

[1] We have a special focus on just peace and just peacemaking in this issue. Mark Hanson, President of the Lutheran World Federation and Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, called for theological work among the member communions on principles of a just peace in his September 2004 President’s Address to the Lutheran World Federation Council. […]

In the Face of War

This article has been reprinted by permission from Sojourners Magazine. “In the Face of War” first appeared in Sojourners Magazine January 2005. [1] Our time – as every era – is a time of structured enemies. Yes, there are moments of true regard for the other, even moments of sheer poetry. Yet the fabric of […]

Our Pacific Mandate: Orienting Just Peacemaking as Lutherans

[1] The “pacific mandate” does not apply to Lutherans. Neither does it apply to Christians. If that were the case, it’d be shocking. In truth, of course, God’s mandate of peace, of just peacemaking, applies to all people and peoples. It pertains then to all Christian saints who, simultaneously as sinners and as creatures, stand […]

The Just War Theory of Peacemaking

[1] Peacemaking is a part of politics. God wills peace for his creation, and God’s will for peace expresses itself partly through government’s work of preservation. This, anyway, is the view of Article XVI of the Augsburg Confession. Earthly peace depends upon political power, and, therefore, in the service of peace government may “punish evildoers […]

Vulnerability and Security: A Paradox Based on a Theology of Incarnation

[1] The juxtaposition of two apparently contradictory notions, namely, vulnerability and security, makes for a wonderful paradox in the best of Lutheran tradition. They seem mutually exclusive but, in fact, comprise two basic, coexisting human characteristics: all human beings desire security, safety, protection, and shelter. As human beings, however, we also experience that we are […]

Introducing Vulnerability and Security

[1] In the aftermath of the many international crises during the 1990s culminating in Kosovo, the Commission on International Affairs of the Church of Norway felt a need to address the issue of legitimate use of power and military force at a theological and ethical level, without losing the concrete experiences and challenges from sight. […]

Vulnerability and Security: Threads from a Conversation

1] Vulnerability and Security-the theme of the 2005 Lutheran Ethicists Gathering in Miami-focused on nation-states and other actors in international affairs. Three major events and probably several minor ones helped frame this discussion. The major events (from an American perspective) were the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on the United States of September 11, 2001, the […]

Your Dignity is My Security: Vulnerability and Security Considering the Arab/Muslim/Middle Eastern Perspective

[1] I begin with an admission of my personal vulnerability related to this essay. Having spent most of my life on college and university campuses and knowing how critical an audience of scholarly experts can be, I undertake a topic related to ethics with genuine trepidation. I am a non-professional addressing readers who are likely […]

Comments on Vulnerability and Security and The National Security Strategy of the United States

[1] I have two sets of disparate comments on the two documents we are considering, which I will try in some way to relate to each other. [2] The question I want to raise about Vulnerability and Security is this: By placing the question about the proper use of political force within the larger framework […]