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CCADD meeting, 19th October 2006

Pre-publication Discussion on the following book:

 

The Price of Peace: Just War in The Twenty First Century Edited by Charles Reed and David Ryall

 

 

Product Description

Review

"Between moral certainty and ruthless cynicism lies the practical wisdom of the just war tradition. In the hands of its wise editors and expert contributors, this volume gives access to the full range of the tradition's discipline. It is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the duties and restraints that separate the humane from the barbarous - particularly in the extreme aspect of the human condition we are now experiencing as war in the 21st century." Joel H. Rosenthal, President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

 

"This excellent book should be read by the many who comment on the rights and wrongs of today's numerous conflicts. In particular it should be read by all involved with initiating or directing military operations and by those commanding forces engaged on operations. Drawing on the thoughts of theologians, academics and practitioners, its chapters clearly and logically provide the background of reason and morality necessary to guide decision within a sound ethical compass. With the change in the nature of conflict the need for this understanding is most important, since with change comes the need to apply the enduring principles in new circumstances. Principles that if applied serve to restrain the tendency for the awfulness of war to expose the beast in man." General Sir Rupert Smith KCB DSO QBE QGM, Former Deputy Supreme Commander, Allied Powers Europe

 

Book Description

Lively political and public debates on war and morality have been a feature of the post Cold War world. The Price of Peace argues that a re-examination of the Just War tradition is therefore required. The authors suggest that despite fluctuations and transformations in international politics, the Just War tradition continues to be relevant. However they argue that it needs to be reworked to respond to the new challenges to international security represented by the end of the Cold War and the impact of terrorism. With an interdisciplinary and transatlantic approach, this volume provides a dialogue between theological, political, military and public actors. By articulating what a reconstituted Just War tradition might mean in practice, it also aims to assist policy-makers in dealing with the ethical dilemmas of war.

 

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster; 1. Introduction Charles Reed and David Ryall; Part I. A Framework for Ethical Decision Making: State and Civil Society-Based Approaches: 2. The development of Just War thinking in the post cold war world: an American perspective George Weigel; 3. Is there a European approach to war? William Wallace; 4. Between development and doubt: the recent development of Just War doctrine in British churches Nigel Biggar; 5, Just War thinking in recent American religious debate over military force James Turner Johnson; Part II. Responding Justly to New Threats: 6. Humanitarian intervention David Fisher; 7. Terrorism Jean Bethke Elshtain; 8. The application of Just War to rogue regimes, WMD and hyper-terrorism Paul Schulte; 9. Moral versus legal imperatives Sir Frank Berman KCMG QC; Part III. Fighting Wars Justly: 10. The ethics of 'effects-based' warfare: the crowding out of Jus in Bello? Paul Cornish; 11. The just conduct of war against radical Islamic terror and insurgencies Terrence Kelly; Part IV. Securing Peace Justly: 12. Justice after war and the international common good John Langan; 13. Conditions for Jus in Pace in the face of the future Gwyn Prins; 14. From Just War to Just Peace Mary Kaldor; Part V. Concluding Reflections: 15. A US political perspective Michael Wheeler; 16. A British political perspective Michael Quinlan; 17. A US military perspective Shannon E. French; 18. A British military perspective General Sir Richard Dannatt; 19. A British theological perspective Right Reverend Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford.

 

 

‘The Price of Peace’ with Charles Reed

 

Question and Discussion

 

  1. Tony Kempster asked whether the book reflected the views of the CofE and RC churches.  Ans: it is a consultative document.

 

  1. Also: how might the British Muslim community react to a book so devoted to the essentially Christian ‘just war’ tradition?  How is dialogue with them to be conducted?  Ans:  there is a proposal to institute a discussion with them about ‘Just War/Jihad’.  (NB Later it came out that this may be a continuation of The Crescent and the Cross work, possibly in conjunction with CCADD?)

 

  1. David Fisher raised a question about humanitarian intervention.  Is it legitimate? Ans: The UN has endorsed the basic ideas of The Responsibility to Protect while not explicitly talking of the just war principles underlying it.

 

  1. Asked about the contents of the book, Charles read out the chapter titles and authors.  He mentioned the possibility of a launch early in 2007.  A paper with these details is part of this report of the meeting.

 

  1. David Hills then asked about the notion of authority for going to war.  What did this mean in the 21stC context?  This question led to some excited discussion about the role (if any) of the churches in endorsing particular cases.  Tony Kempster and David Fisher disagreed about this.  Should the churches not have judged Hitler’s wars to be unjust?  Bob Beresford said that the ‘just war’ was part of a natural law tradition, not of a utilitarian one.  Tony Kempster asked: What if such a judgement was mistaken, due to lack of good information?   He thought the churches should confine themselves to moral and spiritual judgements, leaving the practical judgements to the politicians.  Peter Bishop wondered if the church’s judgements were therefore necessarily always after the event: what use would that be?

 

It was clear that David Hills had asked a good question, to which there was no generally agreed answer.

 

The meeting ended with congratulations to the editors and authors, with a hope that once the book was published CCADD would offer an occasion to discuss it further.