Fortress Press

Love Your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory

Love Your Enemies

Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory

Lisa Sowle Cahill (Author)


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Questions of pacifism and just war, which have preoccupied Christian thinkers from time to time over the past 1700 years, are given distinctive treatment in this book as it discusses biblical sources for the questions, builds on historical examples both of just war theory and of pacifism, and shows how Christian pacifism is a live option in many contexts.

Lisa Sowle Cahill examines the theological bases of just war theory and pacifism, especially in light of the concept of the kingdom of God, as that motif illuminates Christian discipleship. Differences between the theory and just war and the practice of pacifism are highlighted in the overview of the history of Christian thought on the subject, and the inclusiveness of the ideal of the kingdom for pacifism is emphasized.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800627003
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 288
  • Publication Date June 1, 1994


"This is a clear, useful, engaging, and instructive account of Christian ethics on the issues of killing, war, and peace. It will probably do for another generation what Bainton's book did for a previous one—provide a standard resource on Christian attitudes toward war and peace. The book will be widely read, discussed, and taught."
— Richard B. Miller, Indiana University


This book is about Christian discipleship. What does it mean today to live as a follower of Jesus? More specifically, this book is about the relationship between discipleship and the moral life. What is the primary context in which the Christian works out concrete moral action—the kingdom of God as disclosed and brought near by the Sermon on the Mount, or the networks of natural human relationships whose ambiguities and conflicts are mediated by moral rules and political institutions?
— from the Preface

Table of Contents


  1. Pacifism or Just War Thinking?
  2. The Kingdom Come?
  3. Discipleship and Pacifism in the Early Church
  4. "In Readiness of Mind"
  5. Justice, War, and the Common Good
  6. Reformation Interpretations of Just War
  7. War In God's Name
  8. A Witness for the Kingdom
  9. Contours of the Recent American Debate
  10. The Recent Debate, Continued
  11. The Fragility of the Gospel