The just war ethic emerges from an affirmative response to the basic question of whether people may sometimes permissibly intend to kill other people. In Politics, Justice, and War, Joseph E. Capizzi clarifies the meaning and coherence of the 'just war' approach, to the use of force in the context of Christian ethics. By reconnecting the just war ethic to an Augustinian political approach, Capizzi illustrates that the just war ethic requires emphasis on the 'right intention', or goal, of peace as ordered justice. With peace set as the goal of war, the various criteria of the just war ethic gain their intelligibility and help provide practical guidance to all levels of society regarding when to go to war and how to strive to contain it. So conceived, the ethic places stringent limits on ncombatant or 'incent' killing in war, helps make sense of contemporary techlogical and strategic challenges, and opens up space for a critical and constructive dialogue with international law.
Joseph E. Capizzi is professor of moral theology and ethics at the Catholic University of America. He is the co-author, with Andrew Abela, of A Catechism for Business: Tough Ethical Questions and Insights from Catholic Teaching (Catholic University Press, 2014).