Might Christians who have long been divided along just-war and pacifist lines agree some day that just policing—and only just policing—is legitimate? In an essay first written as a resource for the first international dialogue between Mennonites and Roman Catholics, the author offers a thought experiment on what would be necessary for war eventually to cease to be a “church-dividing” issue. The category of policing is distinguishable from warfare in its psychosocial dynamics and accountability to the rule of law; however, it has received surprisingly inadequate attention within both pacifist and just-war traditions. Historic peace churches and just-war-affirming churches can continue to converge by exploring shared ways of understanding the ethics of just policing and its extension into international policing. To do so convincingly, however, both must embody their arguments through far wider pastoral and social practices.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies 41, no. 3–4 (Summer-Fall 2004): 409-430.