A just and sacred warfare : the symbiotic relationship between American Civil Religion and the Just War Tradition.




Mizuta, Mandi S.

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Operating under the assumption that war is an inevitable necessity to define and defend a nation, how does humanity reconcile morality with the brutality of war? What is sought is a balance of the bloody battlefield with the moral mandates that make for a decent and well-ordered society and reconcile humanity to heaven. American Civil Religion has incorporated ideals in which a balance between brutality and morality can seemingly be achieved. I propose this set of principles operating as part of American Civil Religion is its own adaptation of just war ideology. Traditional notions of just war thinking have been distinctly interpreted and recapitulated in order to uphold the American identity. This study will explore the relationship between American Civil Religion and the Just War Tradition (specifically the tenets of jus ad bellum) and will examine its implications on theoretical and practical levels, with particular emphasis on the rhetoric and rationale of President George W. Bush after the attacks of September 11, 2001. It will be discovered that American Civil Religion does and must incorporate principles of just war in order to appease the overarching demands of a just and sacred warfare that thereby uphold the myths and ultimately the identity of the nation.



American civil religion, Just war tradition, Warfare, Religion