Eric Patterson

Eric Patterson, Ph.D., is executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, DC, and past dean of the School of Government at Regent University. His expertise, informed by time at the US Department of State and in the military, is on the intersection of war, conflict, and the ethics of security. He is the author or editor of 15 books, including Just American Wars, Politics in a Religious World, and Ending Wars Well.


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The Treaty of Versailles and Religious Freedom
The Treaty of Versailles and Religious Freedom

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, was signed one hundred years ago this week. What is often forgotten is that this treaty—or better yet, set of treaties—did recognize and advance, albeit in a limited way, the religious freedom of average citizens.

ProvCast Ep. 32: American Justness in War—from Independence, WWII, Vietnam, and Beyond

In this episode of the Foreign Policy ProvCast, Eric Patterson speaks about his book Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in US Military History.

Donald Trump 2019 State of the Union Inspired
Trump’s State of the Union Address Inspired

In his State of the Union Address, Donald Trump promoted a vision of American leadership for the twenty-first century.

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.