Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


Society of Christian Etihcs/Philosophy Documentation Center


Tragically, ethnic conflicts have become one of the hallmarks of the post-Cold War era. In response to this, two distinct traditions appear to be emerging.The first continues the classical just war tradition while the second represents a new "reconciliation tradition," built largely around questions of restorative justice in areas of social division. Our goal in this essay is to begin a rapprochement of these divergent traditions by asking the question, what does a restorative justice perspective offer to the just war tradition? We proceed in three stages: first, we survey the current state of the just war tradition; second, we introduce the reconciliation tradition, drawing on both reconciliation thinkers and the practical experience of experiments in social reconciliation in South Africa and Rwanda; and third, we draw these two traditions together with a series of constructive proposals for how the reconciliation tradition can enrich the just war tradition.


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