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From the Archives: Just War

For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the journal Political Theology, we are diving into the journal’s archives to share highlights of what we have published. In this installment, here are some of the articles we have published on questions of just war

Justin Ashworth, Neither Just nor Necessary: Barth and War, Again, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 2011, 12:3, p. 396-417). “The terms “justice” and “necessity” are often employed in discussions of war. The just war tradition seeks to delineate when wars are and are not just; other theologians who do not find this approach helpful may nevertheless resort to the logic of necessity. Although unjust, some wars may still be deemed necessary. Barth employs both the language and logic of justice and necessity in his approach to war. The purpose of this paper is to address Barth’s exposition of war in relation to his approach to divine justice and the necessity of Christian affliction. It does not attempt to make any large claims about the just war tradition or other approaches to war. Rather, it is intended to be an immanent critique of Barth from Barth’s own theology, showing that, although consistent with his view of church and state, Barth’s theology of war is inconsistent with his view of both God’s character as just and the external necessity of affliction to Christian witness.”

David Corey, Luther and the Just-War Tradition, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:2, p. 305-328, 2011). “Historians of the just- war tradition frequently cite Martin Luther as a major proponent of the just war in the sixteenth century and assimilate his views to those of earlier writers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. In this study I show that Luther’s relationship to the just-war tradition was more complex than scholars typically acknowledge. Although he adopted a just-war outlook in general, he sometimes ignored or rejected aspects of the tradition, and this led to two possible outcomes. In some instances, Luther’s teaching appears less nuanced and coherent than earlier teachings, for example on the topics of just cause and jus in bello. In other ways, though, Luther helped to advance the tradition, for example on the topics of holy war and the personal responsibility of soldiers.”

James Crossley, Just War’ and the Contemporary Art of Justifying the Unjustifiable, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 11:3, p. 335-351, 2010). “This article assesses the recent application of “just war” criteria by Charles Reed. It is clear Reed has uncritically supported Anglo-American power by omitting a great deal of counter evidence and by misrepresenting opposing views. Some consideration is given to the ways in which intellectuals can unintentionally support violence and power.”

Jean Elshtain, How Does—or Should?—Theology Influence Politics?, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 5:3, p. 265-274, 2004). “The question discussed in this article is whether Christian theology should influence contemporary political debates. The topic is discussed through two practical case studies: (1) technological advances in genetic engineering and (2) the just war tradition and the use of force. In the first discussion, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s unfinished Ethics is employed to demonstrate the importance of substantial theological categories to resist a reductionist technological utilitarian discourse about the body. Intrinsic human dignity is essentially God-given. In the second, Aquinas and Augustine add theological complexity and substance to secular discussions of war and peace. Human caring is more than the protection of the sovereign state. A peace that is only the absence of war can disguise many harmful situations. In conclusion, theological discussion brings nuance, richness and depth to secular political debates so long as theologians go beyond simplistic contributions such as ‘God demands’ or ‘The Bible forbids’.”

Andrew Fiala, The Crusade for Freedom: A Just War Critique of the Bush Doctrine, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 9:1, p. 47-60, 2008). “This paper critically examines the Bush Doctrine in American foreign policy. It describes the crusading spirit of the Bush Doctrine and its connection with American Exceptionalism, with a special focus on the Bush administration’s policy statements. It then uses the theoretical framework of the just war tradition to argue against this new sort of crusading idealism and its eschatological aim of transforming the world through military force. The paper argues that the just war tradition is grounded in theological and anthropological assumptions that give us reason to reject all crusading idealisms, even the idealism of American exceptionalism.”

Tim Gorringe, The Case for a Pre-emptive Strike, and so forth… in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 5:2, p. 215-218, 2004). “This article is a response to the piece by Stephen Strehle in issue 5.1. It is recognized that a variety of theological and political perspectives come from the US, but argues that this is a poor illustration of contemporary political theology. Strehle, it is suggested, has a mistaken understanding of US history and represents a strand of American thought which has failed to acknowledge the faults of an imperial past, in particular the crimes committed against ‘native’ peoples. The war against Iraq is presented as a further illustration of an imperial mentality which pervades parts of US culture. Strehle fails to recognize the flaws apparent in the morality of the West. The critique of the place of just war theory in contemporary geo-political conflicts is challenged, as is the assertion that the church has a duty to follow the government of the day. The article ends with a recognition of the value of, and inspiration resulting from, much US political theological thought.”

Gareth Jones, What Is ‘Responsible Theology’? ” in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 5:1, p. 47-54, 2004). “What should responsible Christian theologians say after September 11? Robin Gill’s recent book, Changing Worlds, offers a particular vision based upon a nuanced understanding of just war theory. This article dissents from that view, arguing that our responses are distorted if we are tempted to give September 11 a status that is hard to justify, and which might lead to difficulties between the world’s major religions. Responsible theology often lies in just such dissent from politically plausible yet tendentious actions and their consequences.”

Grant Kaplan, What has Ethics to Do with Rhetoric? Prolegomena to any Future Just War Theory, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 6:1, p. 31-49,  2005). “The following article argues that the United States bishops have adopted an objective rhetoric, meaning a rhetoric that focuses attention on the “content” of the argument instead of the person making the argument. Such a rhetoric is bound to fail after the abuse scandal that has beset the American Catholic Church. A subjective rhetoric assumes that the person making the argument cannot be separated from the content of the argument. The documents of the Second Vatican Council hint at the possibility of a subjective rhetoric that has, paradoxically, been employed with success by radical Islamic groups. Contemporary European theologians, especially Johannes Baptist Metz, have laid the groundwork for a subjective rhetoric through what they call “practical fundamental theology.” Such an approach offers a model of apologetics that is more scriptural and more plausible than the approach currently taken by the United States bishops when attempting to discuss issues of war and peace.”

Jennifer Lucas & David McCarthy, War is its Own Justification: What Americans Think about War, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 6:2, p. 165-192, 2005). “The authors deal with the morality of war in American culture. They argue that a war ethics that was characteristic of the Cold War has given way to a warrior ethics as it has developed in post-Vietnam America, in print media, popular sentiment, and film. According to this warrior ethics, the citizenry’s support for soldiers, regardless of the justice of war, is understood to create social solidarity. Wars are easily justified because, at bottom, war is understood to be its own justification. It unites a country. This popular conception of war both props up more high-minded, political rationales for war and undermines traditional just war ethics. The article uses the war in Iraq as a case study. It analyzes the Bush administration’s defense of the war alongside similar accounts of the just war theory given by Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, and George Weigel.”

Derek Maher, The Rhetoric of War in Tibet: Toward a Buddhist Just War Theory, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 9:2, p.  179-191, 2008). “This article analyzes the rhetoric that the Fifth Dalai Lama Ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho (1617-1682) employs to describe various forms of violence. In particular, I explore the justifications he offers or implies for various types of violence to which he seems to grant his approval. I focus on his 1643 Song of the Queen of Spring, written immediately after a broad-ranging war that culminated in his own ascent to political rule over Tibet. Concentrating on his assessment of Gushri Khan, the Mongolian strongman responsible for installing the Dalai Lama in power, I conclude that the Dalai Lama attempts to legitimize Gushri Khan’s violence by representing the khan as a transcendent agent of benefit, a bodhisattva whose own goodness permits him to perform actions that would be condemned if performed by a less exalted actor.”

Eli McCarthy, The Virtue Ethic Difference in the Just War Discourse of James Turner Johnson and Catholic Social Teaching, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:2, p. 275-304, 2011). “In this article, I investigate how incorporating virtue ethics into the process of interpreting and responding to conflict re-shapes the understanding and application of just war theory. More specifically, I analyze James Turner Johnson’s idea of just war and the implications of Thomistic virtue ethics. My argument in this article is that Johnson’s rule-based idea of just war theory lacks the more integrated virtue ethic, which we find in Thomas and in the re-appropriation of Thomistic virtue ethics in contemporary Catholic Social Teaching’s discourse on just war. This contributes to Johnson’s idea of just war being inconsistent with the direction of contemporary Catholic Social Teaching on just war theory, particularly regarding the presumption against war. His lack of a virtue ethic also contributes to an inadequate understanding, development, and application of basic just war criteria, particularly from a Catholic perspective.

Douglas McCready, Now More than Ever: Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and the Just War Tradition, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 7:4, p. 461-474, 2006). “For more than fifteen hundred years, the just war tradition has provided guidance about when wars should and should not be fought. It has also incorporated standards for how wars should be fought. The tradition rejects the claim that all use of force is evil, suggesting instead that in some circumstances the failure to use force is wrong. War is never desirable, but sometimes it is both right and necessary. The just war tradition helps us understand when this is true. The tradition developed to help control conventional warfare, but it is no less applicable to the terrorism and asymmetrical warfare prevalent in contemporary conflicts. In a world where American military power is unmatched, any opponent’s best option is some form of asymmetric warfare. Such warfare is frustrating to conventional forces and tempts them to respond with an “all’s fair in war” approach that is both morally wrong and militarily counterproductive. Neither pacifism nor “realism” deals adequately with the challenges of twenty-first century warfare. Only the just war tradition provides clear guidance about when and how it is right to go to war and places this in the context of establishing a peace based on justice and equity.”

Ray Pentland, Just War-Just Sanctions, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 3:2, p.178-195, 2002). “The use of economic sanctions steadily increased during the twentieth century. Politically, sanctions seem to offer a safe alternative to armed conflict. International chastisement on a nation’s unacceptable behavior is often dealt with by imposing sanctions, the late twentieth-century version of ‘gun boat diplomacy’. However, little account appears to be taken of the devastating humanitarian impact that sanctions can have on the innocent victims of their Government’s policies. This article considers the ethical implications of sanctions, using as an example the United Nations’ sanctions against Iraq. The possibility of Just Sanctions is discussed against the background of Just War criteria, and questions the assumption that sanctions are a safe and reasonable alternative to conflict.”

Caryn Riswold,  A Theological Response to ‘The Case for a Pre-emptive Strike” in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 5:2, p.201-213, 2004). “In his article, ‘Saddam Hussein, Islam, and Just War Theory: The Case for a Pre-emptive Strike’, Stephen Strehle argues that pre-emptive strikes are necessary when national survival is at stake, and suggests that this is precisely the case in the world today. Further, he depends on a model of church/state relations that encourages the church to passively submit to the authority of the state, and remain silent in matters of criticism. Finally, he assumes throughout his argument that Christian and Western values are both superior and desirable for peoples throughout the world. These three themes will be challenged in this theological response that suggests that it is the duty of free people to question their leaders, it is the responsibility of the church to challenge the state, and it is the challenge of social privilege to empower other peoples.”

Stephen Strehle, Saddam Hussein, Islam, and Just War Theory: The Case for a Pre-emptive Strike in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 5:1, p.76-101, 2004). “America and its allies face a world that has become more and more dangerous with its weapons of mass destruction and a shadowy world of terrorists more than willing to use them. The wisdom of the past does not have the prescience or universal insight to deal with this new threat. America and its allies must change direction if they wish to respond to the challenge in an effective manner, even if it means employing policies that seemed dubious in the past. The state is called to protect its citizens in a Machiavellian world, filled with depravity and compromise. The church is called to submit to the superior wisdom of those who have the special intelligence, experience and expertise to handle the current crisis.”

Special Issues: Ten Years After 9/11

Julie Clague, Political Theology Ten Years After 9/11, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 645-659, 2011). in Political Theology Ten Years After 9/11″ examines the nature of the discourse of political theology before 9/11, and discusses its tendencies to parochialism and denominationalism. In the post-9/11 context, new more inclusive, cross-cutting discussions are required by those who work in the field, which move beyond any hard and fast delineation between theology and religious studies, in order to foster the necessary multidisciplinary and interreligious engagement that can take the discipline forward.”

Abdulaziz Sachedina, “Do Not Despair of God’s Mercy”: Reflections on the Divine Mercy in Times of Tragedy, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p.660-665, 2011). “The article undertakes to reflect on the events of 9/11 through a prism of critical self-introspection. It takes the reader through a personal journey of a Muslim struggling to come to terms with the tragedy of 9/11 after ten years and to raise serious questions about criminal violence committed by a group of terrorists in the name of Islam and its teachings on jihad.”

W. Gilpin, September 11: Meaning in Fragments, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 666-671, 2011). “September 11 raises a broader issue about the roles of theology in public life, especially in relation to acts of violence. This essay proposes that the theologian has particular responsibility for the interpretive frameworks and narratives within which public discussion situates acts of violence, and it illustrates this proposal through brief comments on the concept of “the fragment” in recent theology.”

Tina Beattie, Fragments: Reflections in a Shattered Screen, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 672-677, 2011). “This article reflects upon the impossibility of providing a satisfactory account of the events of 9/11 and their aftermath. Piecing together fragments of memory and history, of poetry and literature, the author seeks to express the ways in which the attack on America and the response it provoked continue to haunt us with profound and unanswerable questions about knowledge, meaning, truth and responsibility.”

Hugh Goddard, 9/11—100 Years On, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 678-684, 2011). “The events of September 11th 2001 have undoubtedly had a considerable impact in the past ten years, in the United States, in the Muslim World, and elsewhere, in the fields of politics, religion and culture. It will be interesting, however, to see how they are remembered in 100 years’ time, and almost certainly it will be the consequences of the event, as much as the events themselves, which will be remembered, in terms of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the bombings in several European cities, and the extra-judicial killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011. This paper investigates the legacy of these events, and the questions which they and what has followed from them raise.”

William Cavanaugh, The War on Terror: Secular or Sacred? in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 685-690, 2011). “This article argues that the war on terror is not fought between secularism and religion, but between two skewed visions of social order that are both, in different ways, sacred. The United States represents a type of expansionist civil religion that is not simply religiously neutral.”

Jean Elshtain, The World as We Know It, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, 691-695, 2011). “America’s domestic reaction post 9/11 was laudable. President George W. Bush drew a clear distinction between the terrorists and Islam as such. Religious communities called upon the devout to avoid religious hatred and acrimony. As a result, there were few attacks on American Muslims. Nonetheless, many Americans support the “war on terror” against militant Islamists, and feel disquiet over those elements of Islamic teaching that appear to deny civic values such as the right to religious liberty and the right to convert. The publication of the statement “What We’re Fighting For” in 2002 expressed some of these concerns and led to a difficult but fruitful ongoing dialogue between intellectuals in America and the Arab Middle East. The major differences that exist between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism require “deep toleration”: the capacity to live with and among those with whom one profoundly disagrees on some vital matters. A civic Islam must be allowed to prevail that avoids the extremes of theocracy or religious indifference. To achieve this, the lead must come from within Islam itself.”

Amir Hussain, In the Decade After 9/11, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 696-698, 2011). “This essay looks at the impacts that the 9/11 attacks had on American Muslims in the ensuing decade. It argues that there has been a shift from Islamophobia, or a fear of Islam, to a “misoislamia” or hatred of Islam.”

Amina Wadud, American by Force, Muslim by Choice, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 699-705, 2011). “The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011 have weighed heavily upon Islam and Muslims in America today. This essay discusses three major concerns that have been adversely affected in the aftermath of the attacks: (1) the eternal security status orange, making travel in America seem like an experience under eminent danger; (2) a disregard for internal Islamic knowledge production in academic institutions and civil society; and (3) further deterioration and racism regarding who is Muslim and between Muslims. It is nevertheless hoped the unique contribution of American Muslims to global realities would not be thwarted.”

Irfan Omar, Keeping Shari’a and Reclaiming Jihad, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 706-712, 2011). “Ten years after 9/11, America continues to face the challenge of terrorism and Muslims are increasingly being demonized by some segments of American society. Due to constant anti-Muslim propaganda and fear-mongering by some lawmakers, political hopefuls, and others in the Christian Right, Islamophobia is on the rise. Islamic notions of shari’a and jihad have been dubbed as the source of all evil. Attempts to ban the shari’a by some states, and to equate jihad as “violent terrorism,” are essentially rooted in ignorance of Islam, and a desire to construct a false sense of security. Both shari’a and jihad, considered from the mainstream Islamic perspective, are spiritual notions meant for the betterment of the soul. Their abuse and misuse by some Muslims should not be construed as equivalent to their inherent spiritual meaning. This essay suggests that shari’a is antithetical to terrorism, and jihad, far from being “holy war,” implies a constant spiritual struggle to do good and to be an upright citizen.”

Richard Gauvain, Osama bin Laden as a Multi-Vocal Symbol, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 713-721, 2011). “Relying on surveys carried out shortly after his death, this article includes the opinions of Muslims of varying nationalities, though currently living in Dubai, towards the figure of Osama bin Laden. In responding to the often positive opinions elicited, despite the general awareness of his crimes, this article explores the potential of bin Laden, and implicitly that of all “Salafi-jihadis,” to function as a multi-vocal symbol capable of uniting historically distinct, though overlapping, discourses on jihad.”

Alan Mittleman, The Problem of Religious Violence, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 722-726, 2011). “The problem of violence in the name of God is ancient. Judaism sought to limit religious extremism by bringing it under the jurisdiction of law.”

Asma Barlas, September 11, 2001: Remember Forgetting, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 727-736, 2011). “In History, Memory, Forgetting, Paul Ricoeur speaks about the paradox of memory that appears as “an excess of memory here, and an excess of forgetting elsewhere, to say nothing of the influence of commemorations and abuses of memory—and of forgetting.” In this essay, I reflect on this paradox and, in particular, on what needs to be forgotten in popular imaginaries as the very condition for commemorating it. My intent is to show how dominant narratives about “9/11″ enable abuses of memory and what is lost in the process. Although I don’t offer a determinate conclusion, my point is to suggest that what we lose is a fuller awareness of ourselves and others.”

Reza Pankhurst, The Legacy of 9/11: A Decade of Denial and Destruction, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p.737-743, 2011). “Reviewing the decade of American foreign policy since 9/11 reveals a continuation of certain policies rather than a break with the past. Extradition, foreign interventions, and support for unrepresentative regimes for the sake of national interests have a long history and the response to the events saw a rise in their usage. Official mythology around 9/11 has created a false narrative of victimhood and been used to justify all manner of contraventions of the rule of law abroad and at home in the US. The Presidency of Barack Obama also represents a continuation of the previous regime’s policy, and a decade on from 9/11 the memories of those lost at the site and as a result of the subsequent American “war of terror” are both recognized as victims of US foreign policy.”

Lenn Goodman, Tragedy and Triumphalism, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 744-751, 2011). “The 9/11 attacks were more than a criminal act. They were a terrorist war crime directed chiefly against unarmed civilians and a civil society which the planners and facilitators hoped ultimately to subdue in the name of Islam. It’s easy to say, apologetically, that these war criminals “hijacked Islam.” But there were many who applauded their heinous act, even as they sought to deny the loyalties and the inspiration of the perpetrators. The problem 9/11 poses for Muslims worldwide is not an image problem but a moral and spiritual one. The 9/11 attacks were planned, sponsored, and perpetrated by real Muslims who were sincere in their faith and meant what they were doing to bear witness to their faith. That fact presents a challenge and an opportunity to Muslims. The challenge is actively to reject the tactics of the terrorists and their henchmen. The opportunity is to reject the triumphalism that motivates such tactics. Blood-drenched means pollute the ends they serve. The pursuit of world domination belies the very ideal of free commitment to God’s way.”

Shaykh Rashid, The Emerging Phenomena of Post-9/11, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 752-761, 2011), “After pointing out several disturbing social and political “after-effects” of 9/11, the author offers a Sufic perspective on these trends and humanity’s responsibility to counter them with the practical application of universal values. He affirms the foundational principles of harmony and peace inherent in Islam, the power of remembrance as fundamental to the quality of humanity, and need for reflection in and on the Muslim community. The author encourages us to meet the challenge of a post-9/11 world filled with bigotry, prejudice and racism by putting our values into practice for the betterment of humanity.”

Rabbi Lerner, Fighting Terrorism through Generosity: The Spiritual Approach to Homeland Security, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 762-769, 2011). “In the twenty-first century, growing numbers of people have come to understand that our own well-being is intrinsically tied to the well-being of everyone else on the planet and the well-being of the planet itself. Terrorism can be more effectively reduced and contained through a Global Marshall Plan and a Strategy of Generosity than through unwinnable wars like those fought by the Western powers in Iraq and Afghanistan, or by wasting huge amounts of money on the growing Homeland Security forces that are more likely to constrain our human rights than to enhance our domestic safety from terrorists.”

Marina Cantacuzino, The Line Dividing Good and Evil, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p. 770-777, 2011). “The hypothesis which separates “good” from “evil” is unhelpful when trying to understand why people harm one another. It is too easy to think of those who do grave harm to others as different from us, but the truth is that reasonable people will act irrationally and peaceful people act violently when their sense of self and family are threatened. Hearing stories of “the other” is a way of blending fear into understanding.”

David Novak, After 9/11: Religion and Politics, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online,  12:5, p. 778-782, 2011). “The political facts that make Jewish-Christian dialogue a possibility and a reality in the present seem to be absent as regards Jewish-Muslim (and Christian-Muslim) dialogue today, especially after 9/11. This article suggests, however, that Jews and Muslims might find some needed common political common ground in working together to protest ultra-secularist attempts to outlaw the circumcision of infant males, even when done for religious reasons, as it is done by both Jews and Muslims for the same religious reason. The formulation of this political protest, in order to be rational, requires serious dialogue between Jewish and Muslim thinkers.”

Marius Mjaaland, Collapsing Horizons, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, 12:5, p.783-791, 2011). “After the twin attacks in Oslo on July 22, 2011, the relationship between religion and global politics over the last decade appears in a different light. The Norwegian terrorist from the extreme right submits to the idea of counterjihad, which responds to the Islamist jihad. I argue that this revival of an ancient mythology of crusaders and jihadists has become the most influential political mythology of our times. However, what separates this new mythology from the old is its nihilistic tendency, deliberately constructing an ideological basis for self-destruction and the destruction of others. Still, as a motivation for cruelty it does not fall short of the templars of the First Crusade (1096-1099), massacring thousands of civilians behind the walls of Jerusalem.”

Ted Smith, Mourning 9/11: Walter Benjamin, Gillian Rose, and the Dual Register of Mourning, in Political Theology, (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online,12:5, p. 792-800, 2011). “The tenth anniversary of 9/11 presses with new urgency the question of how to mourn. In the presence of that anniversary, I revisit the work of Walter Benjamin and Gillian Rose. The two could be taken as irreconcilable opposites. Benjamin stresses the need to refuse consolation, Rose the need to engage in the work of mourning. Rose accentuates the differences, developing key parts of her account of mourning in direct contrast with Benjamin. I follow Rose in seeing a deep distinction between the two. But I argue for the need to hold together their versions of mourning, without dissolving the differences between them, in order to describe the dual register in which the work of mourning must proceed.”

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