Models of God and Just War Theory

Document Type

Contribution to Book



Format of Original

10 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-5219-1_82


It may seem that a model of God, or of any ultimate structuring principle for reality, is irrelevant to the conceptual shape or practical application of just war theory. This essay argues the contrary: our ultimate frame of reference for ordering of the cosmos and our human place in it bears significantly on how we construe human responsibility for establishing an international order that will bring warfare to an end. In particular, a model of God enabling us to take human freedom seriously as an effective power to bringing about peace as a lasting human good makes it possible to re-orient the finality of just war theory from that of merely minimizing the harm of war as an evil inevitably woven into human social dynamics to that of active peacemaking, i.e., of pursuing conditions that foster a stable order for peace that will render war an “unnecessary evil.”


"Models of God and Just War Theory," in Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities. Eds. Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher. Dordrecht, NL: Springer, 2013: 991-1000. DOI.