The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 18, 1998

Tobias L. Winright
Pages 221-239

Two Rival Versions of Just War Theory and the Presumption Against Harm in Policing

In recent years, there has been a debate, centrally between James Turner Johnson and James F. Childress, on how to understand the just war tradition. The international arena has historically served as the context for demonstrating the normative and political utility of the just war tradition. Contemporary experience shows, however, that violence is not only a distant issue, but it is also a local, domestic problem. Investigation into contemporary police practice, a lacuna in Christian ethics, with regard to the justifiable use of force can help clarify which understanding of the just war tradition is preferable.