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Book Review

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From his conversations in church settings and classrooms, Daniel M. Bell, Jr. has observed that Christians by and large do not know the church’s just war tradition very well, but that they are receptive to learning about it. Most theologians would likely agree that they know a number of Christians who are hungry to see better thinking and more effective action in response to war in our time. Bell, a Lutheran seminary professor and ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, wrote this book to interpret ‘the just war tradition in terms of concrete practices that might contribute to the church’s ability to make faithful moral judgments regarding justice in war then live out those judgments’ (p. 15). This project is needed, he thinks, because a public-policy mode of just war reasoning has eclipsed a church-based mode, even among Christians.


Book review by Brian Stiltner.

Bell, D. M. (2009). Just war as Christian discipleship: Recentering the tradition in the Church rather than the State. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.