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Peace Between Just War and Pacifism?

Hauerwas shrewdly remarks in an essay entitled "Courage Exemplified" from the Hauerwas Reader:

While we think just warriors are wrong, they might not be--another way of saying that we think the just war position as articulated by an Augustine or a Paul Ramsey is a significant challenge to our own Christian pacifism and is theological to its core. Just warriors and pacifists within the Christian church must be committed to continued engagements that teach them not only to recognize their differences but also their similarities, similarities that make them far more like one another than the standard realists' accounts of war that rule our contemporary culture and that have taken a firm hold in the church.

This confirms my growing suspicion that it is missing the main point of folks like Hauerwas or Jones to get mired down in debate between just war and pacifism. And folks who get up in arms about pacifism from a "just war" perspective are usually far from the true just war tradition. None of the wars any of us are familiar with, and which modern Christian "pacifists" have condemned, come close to fitting traditional just war criteria. It seems to me that there is an important decision to be made between the two options, but it is one that the church can postpone for a the meantime, she should be united in her condemnation of the wars we’ve seen for the last couple centuries.


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