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In this task I am going to explain the Biblical and Church teachings, which Christians might use to support the concept of Just War. The theologian St. Thomas Aquinas who was alive in the 13th Century developed just War Theory.

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Introduction

Religious Education Coursework - Task 1 In this task I am going to explain the Biblical and Church teachings, which Christians might use to support the concept of Just War. The theologian St. Thomas Aquinas who was alive in the 13th Century developed just War Theory. He said that in order for a war to be Just it must fulfil all of the following criteria: 1. War must always be a last resort. 2. War can only be declared by a legitimate authority (Monarch, Government). 3. War can only be fought for good and to overcome evil. 4. Civilians are not a permissible target of war. 5. The aim must be to re-establish peace. 6. The country waging war must have a reasonable chance of winning. 7. Countries must use a just amount of force and ensure the honourable behaviour of their troops. The evidence, which shows how the Bible supports Just War Theory, is in the Old and New Testament. "The kind of fasting I want is this: remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free," (Isaiah 58:6). ...read more.

Middle

Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered," (Romans 13:1-3). This quote agrees with No.2 War can only be declared by a legitimate authority (Monarch, Government). In this quote the Bible says that God chooses who is going to have authority and no authority exists without his permission, so if an authority declares war, then it is a war with God's permission. "Keep on loving one another as Christians brothers. Remember those who are suffering as though you were suffering as they are," (Hebrews 13:1-3). This quote relates to No.4 Civilians are not a permissible target of war. In this quote the Bible says that as Christians, we should love one another and not make innocent civilians suffer, consequently it agrees that civilians should not be a permissible target of war. The evidence, which shows how Church teachings supports Just War Theory, is in documents written by the modern Church. "Any act of war aimed at the destruction of entire cities... is a crime against God and man himself," (Gaudium et Spes 79-82). This quote relates to No.4 Civilians are not a permissible target of war. ...read more.

Conclusion

This quote agrees with No.6 The country waging war must have a reasonable chance of winning. In this quote the Church teachings say that war against a nuclear power is not ethical; therefore the Church teachings agree that a country waging war must have a reasonable chance of winning. From the evidence I have gathered I have come to the conclusion that the Bible and the Church teachings in general support the Just War Theory. I say in general because there are some quote that support Pacifism, for example the Bible says, "You shall not murder," (Exodus 20-13). This quote is totally against war because war involves killing the enemy. Also, in the Church teachings it says, "Today the scale and horror of modern warfare, whether nuclear or not, makes it totally unacceptable as a means of settling differences between nations," (Pope John Paul II). This quote is totally against war because it says that war is unacceptable in the view of Pope John Paul II. I have looked at the Bible and the Church teachings and in my opinion I think the Bible and Church teachings support Just War Theory more then they support Pacifism. ...read more.

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