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Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War
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Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Armies know all about killing. It is what they do, and ours does it more effectively than most. We are painfully coming to realize, however, that we are also especially good at killing our own "from the inside out," silently, invisibly. In every major war since Korea, more of our veterans have taken their lives than have lost them in combat. The latest research, rooted in ...more
Paperback, 161 pages
Published September 15th 2014 by Cascade Books
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Paul Womack
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was not an easy book to read, but not because of the historical and theological material shared; rather, the book evoked memories of actual events and associated feelings from my experiences in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq in 2004. An interrogator in Vietnam, I was a Chaplain in the last two. This important volume on the genesis, practicality, and failure of the Just War Tradition has challenged my sense of self as a theologian and a decent man in that work. The sentence that sums it ...more
Randall Wallace
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Christians permanently went from being “comprehensively pacifistic before Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity to downright warlike after his conversion.” This book is the rebuttal to Just War theory which was created by St. Augustine around the time of Constantine whose Christian Armies bearing the sign of the cross were sanctioned for the first time to kill non-Christians in apposition to everything Jesus taught. “Jesus nowhere teaches that it is right for his disciples to offer vi ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion
This was a strange one for me. Parts of it -- especially tracking the history of just war theory -- were great. But large chunks of it were given to pretty tangential lines of thought, particularly as the talk of thinking on sex in the ancient world became less a comparison point and more the start of a separate book.

I also found his conclusion very odd: Given the failure of just war theory and the moral danger to participants, we should....have universal conscription? I'll save the typing for a
Daniel Moss
The following words on this interesting book are not so much a review as they are some of the thoughts I immediately walk away with after having read the book.

The ancient comparison of killing with sex was hard to digest. The history of christendom having rejected sex and killing of any kind is something new to me - I'll have to do more research on that. The one thing that seems pretty obvious to me is that "just war theory" , as formulated by Augustine and Aquinas, is a moral slippery slope if
Dennis Beery
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his 2014 book, “Killing From The Inside Out – Moral Injury And Just War”, author Robert Emmet Meagher takes an historical look at Just War theory – its development and practice, and particularly, its fruits. And the fruits have not been good. Meagher’s entire argument can be summed up in these words from the book’s conclusion: “Just war theory is a dead letter . . . It was never more than a theory, and at its worst it was a lie, a deadly lie. It promised at least the possibility of war withou ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really affected me: the discussion of early Christianity, the transformation of the Roman Empire into the Holy Roman Empire, the work of Augustine and Aquinas to develop the Just War Theory. Read the other comments; they are more incisive that anything I can come up with right now. And, of course, read the book. Then, like me, maybe you'll start thinking even harder about what it means when you are a citizen of a country which has been at war somewhere for over a half-century, and yet ...more
Vance J.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting take on Just War Theory in the 21st Century. I agree with many of the conclusions, although I found the tie between sex and killing in war odd. I guess I get the point (have to read the book to understand), but I think it could've been a lot sharper without that tie (which - interestingly - is totally omitted from the conclusion chapter. Overall, I recommend the book to those who serve and those who send those who serve.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
So many quotable passages!
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