War, religion and ethics

It is very easy to conclude that war and conflict have been part of the human condition from before recorded history began. But it is equally clear that those engaged in the practice of warfare – and those affected by it – have long queried the necessity for the conflict and the conduct of those engaged in the fighting.

Photograph of a padre setting an altar

This has gradually grown into a body of knowledge that is truly interdisciplinary embracing the legality of warfare, the ethics of conflict and the role of religion therein. The attitude of the Church to conflict has long been a subject of real debate and remains so to this day; this applies to religious thinking far beyond Christianity.

Teaching and research at the University of Birmingham covers all of these areas and extends to include the role of priests and padres in conflict and in peacetime.