Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Robert D. Sattelmeyer - Chair


This work intends to be an application and understanding of the Christian just war tradition as it pertains to the actions of the United States government in Iraq. It includes a short history of the evolution of the tradition, the application and discussion of the three most controversial criterion, and a discussion of how the terror attacks on the World Trade Center may constitute a pre-emptive strike. Essentially, the piece endeavors to explore how untested, unseen dangers drive a government to act for the defense of its citizens and their way of life. The theory draws heavily on Michael Walzer’s invention of the concept of “supreme emergency” which allowed for exceptional actions during war if a people’s entire way of life is threatened.