Christian Reflections on War and Peace

September 14-15, 2007

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2: 4-5; Micah 4:1-3

“….(and he will be called) “Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities….the authorities that exist have been established by God….he who rebels against the authority rebels against what God has ordained….He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13: 1-5

Many Christians are firmly convinced that believers are not allowed to participate in the use of lethal force. Others see the use of force as appropriate when evil has to be subdued.
This remains a critical issue and the discussion of this issue forms the basis for this seminar on Sept. 14 and 15.


Dr. CharlesDr. J. Daryl Charles is associate professor of religion at Union University and the 2007-08 William Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion & Public Life at the James Madison Program, Princeton University. He is the author of seven books and numerous scholarly articles which focus on faith and public policy, including issues in war and justice.
Dr. ZimmermanDr. Earl Zimmerman is associate professor and director of the Conflict Resolution Center at Eastern Mennonite University. He earned the Ph.D. degree at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and has written extensively on peace issues from the historical perspective of the Mennonite tradition.
Dr. JohnsonDr. James Turner Johnson earned the Ph.D. degree from Princeton and is Professor of Religion and Associate of the Graduate Program in Political Science at Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey. His research and teaching have focused principally on the historical development and application of moral traditions as they relate to war, peace, and the practice of statecraft. He is a trustee, editorial board member, and former general editor of The Journal of Religious Ethics, co-editor of the Journal of Military Ethics, and a member of professional societies in the fields of religion and political science.
Dr. CookDr. Martin Cook earned the Ph.D. degree in Philosophical Ethics and Religion from the University of Chicago. Currently at the Air Force Academy, Dr. Cook has taught at St. John’s College Graduate Institute, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. His range of publication is wide and touched on several areas, particularly having to do with war and ethics in military operations. His recent study, “The Road to Basra: A Case Study in Military Ethics,” has meaning for this seminar.
Dr. ElshtainDr. Jean Bethke Elshtain is Rockefeller Professor of Social Ethics in the Divinity School and the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Dr. Elshtain earned the Ph.D. degree from Brandeis University and has taught at the University of Massachusetts and Vanderbilt University. Her many books and articles include “New Wine in Old Bottles: International Politics and Ethical Discourses,” and “Meditations on Political Thought.” Her topic for this seminar addresses the vital issue of the war against terror.


See the event schedule for session times and topics