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Ethics in War: Jewish and Western Perspectives

When is it moral to fight a war? What does it mean to fight a war ethically? For two thousand years, the Jewish people, as a people, have lacked a state and an army. But with the founding of the modern state of Israel, these questions have become and remained painfully practical. And as Americans, citizens of the greatest superpower the world has ever seen, we have a particular obligation to think about the appropriate uses of military force. In this course, we will read a wide range of texts from Tanach and Rishonim to the work of contemporary war theorists, and we will consider the central dilemmas and responsibilities of military power.

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