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Just Reconciliation

The Practice and Morality of Making Peace


Edited By John R. Elford

Most people desire peace but understand that military intervention is sometimes required as a last resort. This book argues that more attention must therefore be given to the study and practice of post-conflict reconciliation. The essays collected here look at the work of figures such as Marc Ellis, Donald Reeves, Justin Welby and the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ Andrew White, and examines how these individuals portray the different successes and failures of reconciliation in dangerous situations. Other chapters examine the contributions made to reconciliation activity by psychology, aid distribution, commissions and peace treaties. The countries and regions under discussion include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, the Middle East, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The contributions reflect both religious and secular views on reconciliation.
The central debate takes place in the context of the changing role of the military in the modern world. The essays in the volume argue that issues relating to reconciliation and the post-conflict reconstruction of civil society should be considered a part of the moral assessment of military action and that the theory of just war needs to be developed to include considerations of this kind.


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R. John Elford - Just War Theory: Reconciliation and Reconstruction in the Christian Tradition 43


R. John Elford Just War Theory: Reconciliation and Reconstruction in the Christian Tradition Introduction In this chapter we will look at why peacemaking is so important in the Christian tradition. In so doing we will see why some Christians are paci- fists and others not. It will be shown that there is, ef fectively, only one tradition in which Christians, with others, have subjected war fighting to moral criteria: the Just War tradition. This will be explained and the need for its development in the modern circumstances of war fighting will be discussed. In brief, it will be argued that the classic two parts of the tradi- tion needs to be expanded to include two more which embrace arrange- ments for hostility cessation and the reconstruction of post-conf lict civil society. In conclusion, those developments will be specified and some of the means of their implementation explored. Peacemaking in the Christian Tradition Christians carry a particular responsibility for peacemaking for the simple reason that they are charged by Jesus to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:09, Mark 9:50, Luke 1:79). It is not possible to be a Christian and ignore this injunction, simple as that. The reason for this is because Jesus was identi- fied as the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, prophesied in Isaiah (9:06). In his person the Messianic age became a present reality. In him the visions and expectations of the old order were fulfilled. Peace was no longer to be longed 44 R. John...

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