“The Elements of St. Augustine’s Just War Theory” by John Langan

Langan, John. “The Elements of St. Augustine’s Just War Theory.” The Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol. 12 (1984), pp. 19-38.  


“St. Augustine’s just war theory involves eight principal elements: a) a punitive conception of war, b) assessment of the evil of war in terms of the moral evil of attitudes and desires, c) a search for authorization for the use of violence, d) a dualistic epistemology which gives priority to spiritual goods, e) interpretation of evangelical norms in terms of inner attitudes, f) passive attitude to authority and social change, g) use of Biblical texts to legitimate participation in war, and h) an analogical conception of peace. It does not include non-combatant immunity or conscientious objection. A contemporary assessment of the elements is offered.”