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Herbert Butterfield, Christianity, and International Law

52 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008  

Robert J. J. Delahunty

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: October 31, 2008


A recent article by the economist Samuel Brittan in The Financial Times was entitled "Make the world safe from crusaders." In his article, Mr. Brittan discussed one of the two books that most influenced him as a student. That book was Christianity, Diplomacy and War, and its author, Sir Herbert Butterfield, was one of the most eminent British historians of the twentieth century. Brittan noted that it was deeply regrettable that Butterfield's book "seems to have passed into oblivion... For there is no better antidote to the fantasies of the American neo-conservatives or the European liberal imperialists." Brittan is exactly right. Butterfield's work on the subjects of diplomacy and war, and the relationships of both to Christianity, deserves to be recollected, pondered and evaluated.

Keywords: Herbert Butterfield, international law, law and religion, diplomacy, war, law of war, Christianity and international law

Suggested Citation

Delahunty, Robert J. mname, Herbert Butterfield, Christianity, and International Law (October 31, 2008). University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, Vol. 86, 2009; U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-31. Available at SSRN:

Robert J. Delahunty (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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