Source: (1991) Paper presented at the Justice and Global Witness conference in Washington, D.C., 8-10 July. Wheaton, IL: Wheaton College.
Mark Amstutz begins his consideration of the quest for peace and justice by referring to Michael Walzer’s account of basic justice or ‘moral minimalism.’ Moral minimalism is not to be construed as shallow and virtually vacuous justice. Rather, it is to be construed as broad in scope, general in claims, and universal in applicability. Minimal morality is rooted in foundational claims of truth, common humanity, and basic justice, not in the particularities of common education, similar cultural values, or shared political ideologies. In contrast, maximal public justice is full-bodied and embedded in specific cultures and legal systems. Though it is rudimentary, minimal morality provides a framework for public justice, and an ethical basis for pursuit of global order and international peace. With all of this in mind, Amstutz explores elements of a ‘minimal’ Biblical account of international political ethics, the aim being to illuminate core political principles rooted in a Biblical tradition.
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