The Justifications for War and Peace in World Religion – Part I: Extracts, Summaries and Comparisons of Scriptures in the Abrahamic Religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism)

La justification de la guerre et de la paix dans les religions du monde – Partie I: Extraits, sommaires et comparaisons des textes sacrés des religions abrahamiques (christianisme, judaïsme et islam)


  1. Dorn, A.W.
  2. Cation, A.F.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
One of the most important decisions by any nation or armed group is when, if ever, to wage war or engage with armed force. Such life-and-death judgements are usually informed by and sometimes determined by ethical principles and religious beliefs. The world religions provide guidelines on when armed force is justified. Are the permissions and prohibitions similar among religions? The present work seeks to map out the spectrum of religious approaches to armed force, as expressed in the scriptures of the world’s largest religions. Through the interpretations of religious scriptures vary considerably, the texts themselves provide a sense of each religion’s approach to the issue. Expressing values from absolute pacifism, where armed force is not permissible under any circumstances, to strong militancy, where armed force is readily adopted, this research compiles, compares and contrasts scriptural passages. Along with the associated DRDC report, it presents a tour d’horizon of the basic scriptures of seven world religions. The present report, constituting Part I of the work, analyses three Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and the companion report, Part II, covers religions of Indic origin (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism). The chosen scriptures from each religion are briefly introduced and the relevant verses are extracted, categorized and summarized. This makes possible, in each religion, the juxtaposition of passages justifying the use of force

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Allah;Anglican;Armed;Bible;Catholic;Christian;Christianity;Crusade;Crusades;Extremist;Fight;Force;Force;God;Islam;Jewish;Judaism;Jus ad Bellum;Jus in Bello;Just War;Justify;Justification;Kill;Limitations in War;Lutheran;Militant;Muslim;New Testament;Osama bin Laden;Pacifist;Peace;Pope Urban II;Pope;Qur’ân;Qur’an;Quran;Religion;Scripture;Scriptures;Spectrum of Force;Talmud;Tanakh;Violence;War
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2009-125 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Jul 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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