Sorrows of war

A contrast to the present elation
Though Augustine is widely known—and frequently reproached—for developing the concept of a “just war,” he believed war is essentially an occasion for remorse. “The wise person will wage just wars,” he wrote, but even the possibility of war “should cause humans sorrow because humans are responsible for it.” This acknowledgment of responsibility led Augustine to an imperative: “Let everyone grieve when he thinks about the truly shocking and cruel evil involved here, and let him acknowledge his miserable state.” The most prominent architect of just war theory was more concerned that war lead to repentance than that it can, in some cases, be justified.

 

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