In Flanders Field the poppies grow between the crosses row on row… I like most Canadian children of my era memorised that poem. I suppose we were in some way honouring those who died in WW1, the War To End All Wars.
Of course it did not end all wars. Actually it had just the opposite effect. We are still harvesting fruit from the seeds that war planted.
May I be so bold as to suggest a reason for this proliferation of death and destruction in the 20th and so far the 21st centuries?
Might it not be that the majority of the countries with the capacity to wage large scale warfare are the very countries that believe there can be a ‘Just War‘ . This belief in the Just War may have started with the Greeks. But for a certainty Christians developed it for their own use. For the Christian Church to take, hold and control the world it needed a belief that allowed for war. Over time the greatest Christian theologians were able to cobble together the Just War Theory.
I must also point out that Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and even Buddhism have theologians that have gone to great pains to justify war. Perhaps it is only an historical accident that has placed Christianity at the head of warring faiths.
Nevertheless historical accident or not, the question remains; How do Christians forge a new theology, dogma, belief that war is just not acceptable? I am not convinced that it is possible to forge this new understanding. I am convinced that if it is possible it will require the following foundation.