Summer 1968

Page 15

The problem I wish to address myself to in this paper is more a question of method than of substance. Yet it is intimately related to the good news of Jesus Christ. The problem can be unfolded in a series of questions. How can the man of religious faith com· municate with the political man about the ethical issues inevitably involved in politi· cal decisions? What insight does the gospel offer to the problems and dilemmas which What in.sight does the gospel are the daily staple of politi· cal existence? What are the offer into the dilemma of political consequences of dog· Vietnam? matic truth? Or finally, what is the connection between the love revealed and commanded in the Christ-event and the use + of power which is the very JAMES P. HANIGAN, S.J. substance of political action? The problem as I have posed it is essentially a theological + one. It is from a theological angle that I would like to con· sider the war in Vietnam. The extensive, and often acrimonious, debate on Vietnam has per· suaded me that neither the confused and confusing factual situation nor conflicting attitudes toward communism alone can explain the wide-ranging differences of opinion on the morality of the· war. Moral judgments about this war, or any war for that matter, involve a host of prior judgments and expects·

Jhe Jheo/ofJ'i o/ War

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