The Augustinian Foundations of the Thought of Paul Ramsey on Just War (TAA 7)
Paul Ramsey was one of the most prominent writers on just war in the 20th century. An eminent moral theologian in the Methodist tradition, Ramsey’s contribution makes use of Saint Augustine’s writings in unexpected ways. Often controversial and sometimes even polemical in style, Ramsey’s writings depart from the traditionally developed just war principles. Choosing not to draw on Augustine’s just war writings, Ramsey instead bases his moral theology around the concept of agape, arguing that the use of force is sometimes the most loving action to protect the innocent. Through his doctoral supervisor, H. Richard Niebuhr, Ramsey came to appreciate the ‘conversionist’ or ‘transformist’ strand of Augustine’s thinking, itself based on agape, and through the influence of H. Richard’s brother, Reinhold, Ramsey espoused an
Augustinian political realism which greatly affected his theological perspective. This thesis therefore traces these various influences in Ramsey’s just war writings, highlighting as well that such Augustinian foundations are strongly evident in Ramsey’s commentaries on Pacem in terris and Gaudium et spes.
FORBES C. A.
The Augustinian Foundations of the Thought of Paul Ramsey on Just War
(Tesi Accademia Alfonsiana 7), LUP-Edacalf, Città del Vaticano 2021
Rev Dr Cameron Forbes is a priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Head of the Department of Moral Theology and Canon Law at Catholic Theological College, part of the University of Divinity (Australia). He completed a licentiate and doctorate in moral theology at the Alphonsianum Academy in Rome. In addition to the just war principles, he is presently pursuing research relating to friendship and social media, and business ethics.
He currently lectures in the areas of Catholic Social Teaching, issues relating to war and peace, and Christian perspectives on business ethics. He has also previously taught in the areas of fundamental moral theology and human sexuality. Before training for the priesthood he earned degrees in law and arts and is also qualified in church music. In addition to his academic pursuits, he is presently parish priest of Mentone-Parkdale in Melbourne and chaplain to the Melbourne Catholic Lawyers Association.