The Just War Approach
According to the just war tradition, if a war meets certain conditions it is a just war; otherwise it is not. Cicero, drawing upon even earlier sources, provided the nucleus of just war thinking. Later St. Ambrose and St. Augustine presented a Christianized form of the just war idea, and still later St. Thomas Aquinas elaborated the Christian idea. By the Middle Ages the just war approach was a received Christian way to evaluate war efforts. In this chapter the contributions of these propounders of the just war idea as it is embodied in the just war theory are discussed, as are the later evolution of the just war theory and of thinking about the proper conditions for a just war. Because this approach to war was elaborated and approved by religious thinkers, and tacitly followed by many who are religious, it became one of the established religious approaches to war.