Title page for ETD etd-06022008-112535

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Thames, John Tracy
URN etd-06022008-112535
Title Pacifism and War: What Are the Ethical and Theological Limitations on the Use of Violence?
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Philosophy & Religious Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Edward Song Committee Chair
Ed Henderson Committee Member
John Whittaker Committee Member
  • Just War Theory
  • Christian Ethics
Date of Defense 2008-05-14
Availability unrestricted
This project seeks to develop an understanding of the ethically permissible and theologically justifiable use of violence, especially as it manifests itself in war. The issue is approached through exegesis of the New Testament texts concerning violence in order to discern a biblical, ethical position. After secularizing the resulting position, it is set against two modern, secular versions of the just war theory; the prevailing contemporary conception of morality in war. Due to disparities that arise between the normative New Testament position and the best moral theorizing about war, the task shows itself to be a theoretical, theological endeavor to harmonize the pacifism of traditional New Testament interpretation with the just war recommendations of ethical reflection. The goal of the thesis is to demonstrate how biblical principles derived from the teachings of Jesus can prescribe a moderate cosmopolitan conception of justifiable war.
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