The Just War and the Crusade

The Monist 57 (4):584-594 (1973)
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According to a prevalent and rather influential typology, the just war and the crusade are antitheses in four respects. The requisite authority for a just war is the prince or the state; the crusade, on the other hand, is fought “under the auspices of the Church or of some inspired religious leader.” Second, the cause or aim of the just war is to protect society from offenses against life and property; in contrast, the object of the crusade is to promote a religious or quasi-religious ideal. Third, the attitude of just warriors is one of reluctant resignation to performing an unpleasant but necessary task; crusaders, however, welcome the opportunity to wreak vengeance on the enemy. Finally, whereas the just war is characterized by moderation in the use of military. means, the crusade almost inevitably leads to indiscriminate violence.



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