An end to nuclear weapons

Today – Thursday, Aug. 6 – marks the 75th anniversary of the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The attack – followed three days later by one on Nagasaki – not only drew World War II to a close but ushered in the nuclear arms race. But what if there were no nuclear weapons?

“A World Free From Nuclear Weapons: The Vatican Conference on Disarmament,” published this month by Georgetown University Press (152 pages, $24.95) posits just that. Edited by Drew Christiansen, SJ and Carole Sargent – an ethics professor and literary historian at Georgetown – the book centers on the Nov. 10, 2017 conference in which Pope Francis came out against nuclear weapons, even as a deterrent. Possessing them, he declared, was immoral. “A World Free From Nuclear Weapons” includes the pope’s address that day, along with contributions from seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, religious leaders, diplomats and civil society activists, including a Hiroshima survivor.

The book is designed as a critical companion for scholars of modern Catholicism, moral theology and peace studies, as well as policymakers working on effective disarmament. It shows how the Church’s revised position presents an opportunity for global leaders to connect disarmament to larger movements for peace, pointing toward future action.

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