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Highlighting the just war tradition in historical perspective, this valuable study looks at contemporary implications drawn out in the context of several important contemporary debates: within the field of religion, including both Christian and Islamic thought; within the field of debate related to the international law of armed conflicts; within the field of policy relating to the use of armed force where the issue is just war thinking vs. realism; and, debates over pressing contemporary issues in the ethics of war which cross disciplinary lines. James Turner Johnson has been writing on just war tradition since 1975, developing the historical understanding of just war and seeking to draw out its implications for contemporary armed conflict. Frequently asked to lecture on topics drawn from his work, this current book brings together a number of essays which reflect his recent thinking on understanding how and why just war tradition coalesced in the first place, how and why it has developed as it has, and relating contemporary just war reasoning to the historical tradition of just war.