In 1914, at the beginning of WWI, Cardinals Mercier of Belgium and Billot of France had a heated argument about the sacred nature of pro patria mori. For the Belgian, a soldier who dies defending his country is assured eternal salvation. Such martyrdom is the highest form of love and cleanses a life of sin making the sinner a saint. The French Cardinal disagreed: this is to forget what god sin and forgiveness are. Forgiving sins through secular heroism is theologically indefensible. Their argument is a modern expression of a much older debate about the justice and goodness of war. This talk will offer a brief the history of bellum justum and then examine the contemporary legal, political and cultural aspects of causta justa and jus in bello. Are there any just wars today?
Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
London, United Kingdom
Tuesday, 4 November 2014 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT)
This event is free – Book your place here