Eric Patterson

Eric Patterson is executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute, scholar-at-large at Regent University, and a contributing editor to Providence. Among his books are Politics in a Religious World: Toward a Religiously Literate U.S. Foreign Policy and Ending Wars Well: Order, Justice, and Conciliation in Post-Conflict.


Pompeo Criticizes Obama’s Middle East Policy, Explains New Era Has Begun
Pompeo’s Cairo Speech Criticizes Obama’s Middle East Policy, Explains New Era Has Begun

Observers expected Pompeo’s Cairo visit to defend President Trump’s drawdown in Syria. Instead, Pompeo systematically dismantled the failed Middle East policies of the Obama administration.

Europe Populism Nationalism Threat
Does Europe Face a Populism, Nationalism Threat?

There are at least two powerful nationalisms in Europe that are chauvinistic, appropriate religious institutions and identities, and are led by powerful leaders.

Just War & National Honor: The Case of Vietnam
Just War & National Honor: The Case of Vietnam

Just war theorizing has typically left the issue of national honor untouched, although warriors and statesmen routinely emphasize the importance of vindicating the sacrifice of the fallen. Does prolonging a war in order to assuage or vindicate national honor comport with the just war tradition?

Eric Patterson Lecture: “Just War Teaching & Christian Higher Education”

The following lecture was recorded during Providence’s 2017 Christianity and National Security Conference. Eric Patterson uses Harry Potter to discuss…

Just War Theory & Terrorism
Just War Theory & Terrorism

This essay provides a brief overview of the just war tradition and then applies the framework to the problem of contemporary terrorism.

Moral Clarity in a Time of Terror
Moral Clarity in a Time of Terror

Christianity can provide us with a clear lens with which to scrutinize the Paris terror attacks. They were deliberate, unrestrained, unprovoked, and unlawful (extra-judicial) mass murder perpetrated by sadistic criminals on unsuspecting, legally innocent civilian victims.

Prayer Candles
A Holiday Prayer Challenge for World Peace

Religions, particularly the Christian faith that animated so much of US history, typically tell their adherents to pray for peace. A consortium of faith groups, under the umbrella “Evangelicals for Peace” has launched a thoughtful new year prayer initiative that anyone can participate in.

Now It’s War

There are two ways to think about the November 13 Paris attacks. The first is that ISIS has taken a strategy to hit Western countries in order to pull them out of the game, to dissuade them from further airstrikes in greater Syria. The second way to understand this is as a strategic miscalculation that will raise Western resolve. Let’s explore both strategies and what is then likely to happen.