Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics (PhD)


Mark Allen


Augustine, just war theory


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Augustine of Hippo wrote a great deal regarding the subject of state-sponsored armed conflict. His views have been categorized into the concepts of jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and, more recently, jus post bellum. Jus ad bellum and jus in bello address the moral responsibilities of a nation and its sovereign as the decision to enter into conflict is made and as agents of the state endeavor to keep human suffering to a minimum. Jus post bellum is a more recent ideal that has, since World War I, addressed the need to establish a long-lasting peace upon the conclusion of hostilities. Interestingly, while the proponents of jus post bellum appeal to the Augustinian ideal of promoting a lasting peace, this attribution has taken place relatively recently. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to determine whether or not Augustine would have agreed with the idea of jus post bellum as it is practiced today. Chapter one shall present research questions, a literary review, and a methodology of study. Chapter two shall address what Augustine said about war in his own writings while providing necessary historical context. Chapter three will examine the formulation and development of jus post bellum. In chapter four, practical examples of jus post bellum will be discussed and traced back to their Augustinian origins. This dissertation will then conclude with apologetic implications before noting areas for further study.