Augustine And The Just War

707 Words 3 Pages
In the 10th century, conflict arose as the dominance of the church’s power began to clash with the growing power of non-religious kingdoms. Church leaders and political leaders began to struggle over ultimate authority of Rome. The existing conflict between Christian leaders and monarchs prompted the first religious holy war. This arose when the Turks threatened to invade the Byzantine Empire and conquer Constantinople. Emperor of Byzantine Alexius I made a plea to Pope Urban II for troops from the West to encounter the Turkish intimidation (Backman 255). Urban, wanting to reinforce the power of Christianity leadership, took advantage of the opportunity to unite Christianity in Europe by starting a crusade to take back the Holy Land from …show more content…
Rome’s initiation into its period of crusades, religious holy wars, had a great impact on philosophical thinker Saint Augustine. Augustine was a Christian theologian and bishop of “Hippo Regius” who developed writings that influenced Western Christianity such as The City of God and Confessions. The events taking place in this medieval time period prompted him to create his Just War Theory, which created guidelines and circumstances on when it is necessary to fight, and how to fight …show more content…
The two aspects of war he identified that needed moral justification included the right to go to war and the right sorts of conduct in war. The right to go to war regards the moral justification that a nation must provide in order to justly go to war. This includes the just authority, the just cause, the right intention, and the last resort. In the battle of the crusades, the just authority was the pope, the just cause was to defend land against attack from the Turks, the right intention was to reimburse power of Christianity and its leaders, and the last resort was to fight or else their land could be lost. The just conduct of war includes proportionality, discrimination, and responsibility. St. Augustine states that, “In its pilgrim state the heavenly city possesses this peace by faith; and by this faith it lives righteously when it refers to the attainment of that peace every good action towards God and man; for the life of the city is a social life” (Ogg). This quote is an expert from book XIX, relating to the right for Christians to fight for their holy land. Saint Augustine provided philosophical reasoning and explanation for going to war on behalf of the Catholic church and God, and how that relates to the Church’s role in Medieval

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