''That truth that lives unchangeably'': The role of ontology in the just war tradition
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The just war tradition as we know it has its origins with Christian theology. In this dissertation, I examine the theological, in particular ontological, presuppositions of St. Augustine of Hippo in his elucidation of just war. By doing so, I show how certain metaphysical ideas of St. Augustine (especially those on existence, love, and the sovereignty of God) shaped the just war tradition. Following this, I examine the slow evacuation of his metaphysics from the just war tradition. Through the systemization of just war by St. Thomas Aquinas, aided later on by BartolomÃÂ© de Las Casas and Hugo Grotius, the doctrine became a shadowy reflection of the tradition. By analyzing the notions of morality in warfare by political realists (Waltz, Morgenthau), international law, and liberal thinkers (Rawls, Walzer), I show the incoherence of the doctrine when it is separated from its ontological and metaphysical roots.
Gray, Phillip Wesley (2006). ''That truth that lives unchangeably'': The role of ontology in the just war tradition. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from