Preventing Unjust War: A Catholic Argument for Selective Conscientious Objection
Why does humankind continue to be plagued by war?
Catholic pacifists blame the just war tradition, which can be invoked to justify any war, and so must be jettisoned. In his book, Preventing Unjust War: A Catholic Argument for Selective Conscientious Objection, Roger Bergman argues that the problem is not the just war tradition but the unjust war tradition. Ambitious rulers start wars that cannot be justified, and yet warriors continue to fight them. The problem is that warriors are believed not to hold any responsibility for judging the justice of the wars they are ordered to fight. Selective conscientious objection, the right and duty to refuse to fight unjust wars, is the solution. With the example of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at hand, Loyola sociologist of religion Fr. Paddy Gilger, SJ, will engage author Roger Bergman in a lively discussion of what the Catholic intellectual heritage can contribute to this perennial problem.
Roger Bergman is Professor Emeritus of Cultural & Social Studies at Creighton University, where he founded and directed the Justice & Peace Studies Program from 1995 to 2017.
Fr. Patrick J. Gilger, S.J.
Fr. Patrick Gilger, S.J. is assistant professor of sociology at Loyola University Chicago and contributing editor for culture at America Media. His scholarly writing focuses on how religious actors can help thicken the weave of our fraying public sphere and support democracy thereby. His public writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Vox, Zocalo Public Square, La Civiltà Cattolica and Public Seminar, his 2014 edited volume The Jesuit Post was awarded first prize from the Catholic Press Association, and in 2021 he won a New York Press Club Award for his essay “Litany for a Pandemic.” His Ph.D. is from the New School for Social Research.
May 25, 2022
Free and open to the public. Registration Required.