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Religion, Morality, and the Governance of War: The Case of Classical Islam

John Kelsay
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall, 1990), pp. 123-139
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40015111
Page Count: 17
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Religion, Morality, and the Governance of War: The Case of Classical Islam
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Abstract

Students of Christian ethics have often noted the special relationship between Christianity and just war thinking in the West. For a variety of reasons, however, many of these have suggested that this "special" relation may not be unique. This essay begins to build on this suggestion by examining materials from the classical period of Islamic development. The conclusion of this examination is that a number of concerns identified with just war thinking are reflected in Islamic circles, as are certain features of moral reasoning, e.g., the rule of double effect. Such similarities are, however, intimately connected with a worldview which is uniquely Islamic. And so the author closes with reflections and questions on the relationship between religion, morality, and war as illumined by the case of classical Islam.

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