Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (2):269-294 (2008)

Many contemporary scholars debate whether war should be conceived as a relative evil or a morally neutral act. The works of Augustine may offer new ways of thinking through the categories of this debate. In an early period, Augustine develops the distinction between evil done and evil suffered. Augustine's early treatments of war locate the saint as detached sage doing only good, and immune from evil suffered. In a middle period, he develops a richer picture of the evil suffered on the occasion of the loss of historical goods but fails to develop the implications of this picture as concerns war. Finally, without abandoning emphasis on the avoidance of doing evil, Augustine comes to highlight how evil suffered in war prevents us from speaking simply of good wars. Augustine's ability to hold together senses of evil and their moral significance provides a useful avenue for new thought on this issue
Keywords presumption  evil  Augustine  suffering  just war
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2008.00346.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,360
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Upheavals of Thought.Martha Nussbaum - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.
The Fragility of Goodness.Martha Nussbaum - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):376-383.
Confessions. Augustine - 1999 - Hackett Publishing Company.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Just War and Virtue: Revisiting Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.Nico Vorster - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):55-68.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Augustine on Evil.G. R. Evans - 1982 - Cambridge University Press.
The Elements of St. Augustine's Just War Theory.John Langan - 1984 - Journal of Religious Ethics 12 (1):19 - 38.
Evil and the Augustinian Tradition.Charles T. Mathews - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Augustine on Sin and Moral Agency.William S. Babcock - 1988 - Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (1):28-55.
A Philosophy of Evil.Lars Fr H. Svendsen - 2010 - Dalkey Archive Press.
This Side of Evil.Michael Gelven - 1998 - Marquette University Press.
On Evil.Adam Morton - 2004 - Routledge.
Just War and the Problem of Evil.Robin May Schott - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (2):pp. 122-140.


Added to PP index

Total views
41 ( #261,626 of 2,448,931 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,896 of 2,448,931 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes