War and Peace

Ethics Online offers four films written to assist teachers in delivering dynamic lessons on the ethics of War and Peace including: Just war theory, Holy war, and Conscientious objection.

Teachers’ notes, scripts & classroom activities accompany each film. Click here to view Extracts.

Read Joe’s article Just War

Click here to read our users’ Reviews.

“Films that grabbed the attention of my most laissez faire pupils.”.
Wayne Smith, Head of Religious Studies, Leominster

Just War

From Augustine and Aquinas to Afghanistan and Iraq this film covers the history and development of Just War Theory and its implications for armed conflict today.
(19 minutes)

Holy War

Wars fought in the name of religion have been going on for a very long time. From Old Testament injunctions to kill, through to the Crusades and 9/11, Holy War asks are there some things worth killing for – and are there some things worth dying for?
(7 minutes)

The Priest Who Blessed The Bomb

In 1945 a Roman Catholic priest gave the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima a Christian blessing. His personal testimony and those of survivors of the bombing graphically illustrate the ethical dilemmas of just war ethics in this haunting film.
(10 minutes)

Contempt of Conscience

Conscientious objection to war has a long tradition and at the outset of the Iraq war in 2003 three Quakers continued this tradition by refusing to pay the military portion of their taxes in a search for less destructive ways of resolving conflict.
(9 minutes) Synopsis


Contempt of Conscience
The Feature Version

At the beginning of the 20th century 80% of war casualties were combatants. At the beginning of the 21st century 80% of war casualties were civilians. Today, civilians pay for war like never before. As the global economic system plunges from crisis to crisis governments continue to spend a trillion dollars a year on the preparation or pursuance of war. At the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003, seven British taxpayers: a Doctor, three teachers, a toymaker, a Buddhist and an accountant asked that the military portion of their taxes be spent on more constructive ways of resolving conflict.
(50 minutes)

The Racket

Why do wars continue to rage today, one hundred years after the 1914-1918 war ‘to end all wars’? The reasons are often complex and this film challenges students to reflect on the views of a military hero turned whistle-blower, who argued that war is perpetuated by the few at the expense of the many, as it brings huge profits.
(20 minutes)