the shape of leadership

How War Can Be Just

A conversation with Eric Patterson, Ph.D.

George P Wood on November 28, 2023


The October 7, 2023, attack on Israel by Hamas, and Israel’s response to it, has raised anew questions about the morality of warfare.

Throughout their long history, Christian thinkers have not had one mind about these questions, but the majority of them have adhered to the just war tradition. This tradition acknowledges that “political authorities are responsible for promoting the good and deterring evil,” as Eric Patterson puts it. That responsibility may involve waging war.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Patterson about how war can be just. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Eric Patterson, Ph.D., is president of the Religious Freedom Institute and scholar-at-large and former dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He previously served in the United States military and at the U.S. State Department. He has authored and edited numerous books on the ethics of war, most recently, A Basic Guide to the Just War Tradition, published in October by Baker Academic.

This episode of the Influence podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Momentum Training Series.

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