Essay on Just War Theory and the Battle of Helm’s Deep

Essay on Just War Theory and the Battle of Helm’s Deep

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With over ten battles, it is obvious that war plays an important part in The Lord of the Rings. However, even in this case, all roads lead to Augustine as he is credited for being the creator of what we know as the Just War Theory. Augustine was a fifteenth century theologian and Bishop of Hippo. His views on warfare and morals were especially imperative to the Christian development of the Just War Theory values. However, Tolkien also had fairly strong feelings about war, as having spent a part of his life in the trenches of World War I; and as a devout Catholic, he was a believer of Augustine’s Just War Theory. Did Tolkien himself incorporate this theory into his own writings of The Lord of the Rings? By examining the Battle of Helm’s Deep, the answer is no.
According to Catholics for Peace and Justice, “the just war tradition begins with a strong presumption against the use of force and then establishes the conditions when this presumption may be overridden for the sake of preserving the kind of peace which protects human dignity and human rights.” The Just War Theory states that there are seven conditions that must be met in order for a declared war to be a true and just war. The first of these values is Just Cause. This means that force can only be utilized to correct an aggression or evil. If the war is being declared out of spite or to seek revenge, the war cannot be defined as being just. Also, there must be a formal declaration of war and warning with spoken terms of what the aims are and what this war will plan to fulfill. The next criterion is Comparative Justice which means the injustice suffered by one party can NOT significantly outweigh the suffering from the other party. For example, if the initial attack o...


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...ition): Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, Andy Serkis, Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne: Movies & TV. Web. 31 Mar. 2012. .
Moseley, Alexander. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Just War Theory. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 31 Mar. 2012. .
National Conference for Catholic Bishops. "The Harvest of Justice Is Sown in Peace." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholics for Peace and Justice, 17 Nov. 1993. Web. 27 Mar. 2012.
Tolkien, J. R. R. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Boston, MA: Houghton, 1986. Print.

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