Royal Navy Theological Symposium

A theological symposium involving several leading theologians speaking on issues of faith, war and peace took place in the warship HMS Bulwark on Ash Wednesday. The symposium, which grew out of the ship’s affiliation with County Durham and was chaired by the Bishop of Durham, involved senior officers from the Naval Service and Army as well as a number of naval chaplains, including the Chaplain of the Fleet. Nigel Biggar presented a short paper on just war. The ensuing dialogue between the theologians and the military representatives considered the legitimacy of military power and how it should be used, with particular focus on recent and current conflicts. Discussions centred around the role and limitations of international law, the discriminate use of force, a Christian critique of the use of military power and the use of military power from an Augustinian perspective. Read the Navy’s full press release and view photos of the ship where the meeting was held.
Symposium participants, including Professors Nigel Biggar, Oliver O’Donovan, Nick Sagovsky; Bishop N.T. Wright; Col Jos McCabe, OBE, Royal Marines; Major General Garry Robison, Commandant General, the Royal Marines: Major General Roddy Porter, MBE, Chief of Staff (Joint Warfare Development); Maggie Wright; Commodore K.W.L. Keble, OBE, Deputy Flag Officer Sea Training, Royal Navy. Photo: Shaun Barlow