World Religions and Norms of War

Front Cover
Vesselin Popovski, Gregory M. Reichberg, Nicholas Turner
United Nations University Press, 2009 - Business & Economics - 335 pages

Recent armed conflicts have drawn fresh attention to age-old questions concerning when war can be justified and what methods and targets are permissible during war. Over more than two millennia, the world's leading religious traditions--Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam--have provided guidance in these contested domains. This volume examines how the religions have responded to pressing moral challenges such as offensive and defensive war, the protection of noncombatants, asymmetric tactics, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.

Written by an international team of distinguished specialists in their respective traditions, World Religions and Norms of War takes the reader on a journey through the evolution of attitudes and teachings related to the ethics of war. It systematically explores the historical roots and interpretations of norms within these traditions, linking them to the challenges of modern warfare. This combination of deep historical analysis and application to contemporary issues provides valuable insight and even prompts us to rethink our understanding of the role and influence of religion in the state and politics.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Religion and war
Norms of war in Hinduism
Norms of war in Theravada Buddhism

8 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Vesselin Popovski is senior academic program officer and director of studies on international order and justice, Peace and Governance Program, United Nations University. Gregory M. Reichberg is senior researcher and program leader, Ethics, Norms and Identities Program, International Peace Research Institute in Oslo. Nicholas Turner is academic program associate, Peace and Governance Program, United Nations University.

Bibliographic information