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Peter Martyr Vermigli, Scholasticism, and Aquinas’ Justice of War Doctrine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter expands upon John Patrick Donnelly's thesis and underscores its legitimacy with respect to the theology of Peter Martyr Vermigli. It argues the thesis that in Vermigli's treatise Of War he not only reflected the methodological style of medieval scholastic theology, but he also made a deliberate attempt to reproduce the actual substance of Thomas Aquinas' teaching on the just war. Before proceeding to an examination of the position of Aquinas and Vermigli on the subject of the justice of war, the chapter briefly considers the historical setting in which Vermigli articulated his teaching. For the sake of comparison and contrast, the author reflects upon the approach of Martin Luther in setting forth classical just war ideas in opposition to holy war practice in the sixteenth century. Vermigli's theological excursus on war originally appeared at the end of his biblical commentary on 2 Samuel 2.

Keywords: holy war practice; justice of war doctrine; medieval scholastic theology; Peter Martyr Vermigli; Thomas Aquinas



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