Dr George R. Wilkes


George R. Wilkes

George R. Wilkes is the founding Director of the Religion and Ethics in the Making of War and Peace Project, currently also a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Security Studies, Kings College London. From 2005 to 2010, he was a Fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and from 2010 to 2018 a Research Fellow in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. He has lectured at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leuven, and Birmingham universities.

Ongoing research projects

  • Teaching International Humanitarian Law and Military Ethics
  • Religion and Peacebuilding: Showing the power of locally-owned social science studies in the Middle East and West Balkans
  • Religion and Reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Book projects under way

Military Ethics Education: Challenges and Realities

Trust and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Understanding the Effects of Diversity in Promoting Change

Arguments for Jewish Ethics in War and Peace 

Together with Professor Michael Dobkowski, Dr Wilkes is also editing a collection of essays on The Holocaust and the Ethics of the Use of Armed Force, focused especially on educational challenges for practitioners.

Professional engagements

A member of the International Society for Military Ethics in Europe (Euro-ISME) and the Network of International Humanitarian Law Lecturers and Researchers. Dr. Wilkes is the Chair of the Jewish Law Association, and was until recently also Research Director and member of the international board of Relief and Reconciliation for Syria. He has had a long involvement with post-conflict dialogue and human rights organisations.



Some recent and forthcoming publications:


‘Religion and Reconciliation’, in Reconciliation Histories, Henry Redwood et al, eds (publication details to be confirmed, estimated publication 2019)

‘Relief & Reconciliation for Syria: Mobilising Local Potentials by Calibrating Local and International Conflict Transformation and Humanitarian Aid Programmes’ (publication details to be confirmed, estimated publication 2019)

‘Using social science in the service of religious peacebuilding among Syrians – lessons from a study in Bosnia-Herzegovina’ (publication details to be confirmed, estimated publication 2019)

‘Attitudes to “religious conflict” within religious Jewish peace organisations in Israel’, in Afe Adogame and Corey Williams, eds, Religion, Conflict, Violence and Tolerance in Global Perspective (New York: Lexington Books, estimated publication 2019).

‘Insights from the Research Project “Factors in Reconciliation: Religion, Local Conditions, People and Trust”’, in Marko-Antonio Brkic and Zorica Kuburic, eds, Duhovni Temelji Društvenog Mira:  Istraživanja loge religije u procesu izgradnje povjerenja i pomirenja (Sarajevo/Mostar: CEIR and Herzegovina University, forthcoming 2019).

‘Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, in Jolyon Mitchell, et al, eds, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Peace (forthcoming, 2019).



‘Shifting The Study Of Interreligious Peacebuilding From Coalitions Of The Willing To Creators Of New Opportunities For Understanding’, in Zorica Kuburić, Ljiljana Ćumura and Ana Zotova, eds, Mir i Pomirenje, Novi Sad: CEIR, 2018, pp. 179-194.

‘Articles 18 and 19: When Freedom of Religion is Pitted against Freedom of Expression’’, Tony Gray et al, eds, Contemporary Human Rights Challenges: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Its Continuing Relevance (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018). Ch. 16.

‘Evaluating Customised Military Ethics Education Programmes’, in Don Carrick, James Connelly and David Whetham, eds, Professional Military Ethics Education: contemporary challenges and responses (London: Routledge, 2018), pp. 127-141.


‘When international dialogue about military ethics confronts diverse cultural and political practices: ‘Guilt’ as a case in point’, in Peter Olsthoorn and Jelena Vukoicic, eds, Military Ethics and Leadership (Leiden: Brill, 2017), pp. 205-229.

‘Religious pluralism and the Slovenian Military Chaplaincy’, with Gorazd Andrejc, in Torkel Brekke, ed., Military Chaplaincy in an Age of Religious Pluralism (Oxford: OUP, 2017), pp. 39-61.

Nigel Biggar, In Defence of War (2013), review article in the Scottish Journal of Theology, 70/3, 349-355.


‘Teaching about ‘War in Jewish Law’ to Non-Lawyers in a European University Context’, Jewish Law Association Studies, XXVI (2016) 109-126.


‘Talking About a Combatant’s Guilt: Diversity in public discourse about morality in post-conflict truth and justice’, Religija i Tolerancija XIII/24, Jul-Dec 2015, 265-278.

‘Krivica Borca’ (A Combatant’s Guilt), in Zorica KuburićPavle MilenkovićAna Zotova, eds, Socijalnim problemima krivice biće u četvrtak (Novi Sad: CEIR and the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Novi Sad, 2015), pp. 59-70.

‘Wars of Religion’, John M. McKenzie et al, eds, The Encyclopedia of Empire, Wiley Blackwell, Oxford/Hoboken NJ.


‘The Importance Of Religion And The Secular For Peace And War: Challenges For Scholars Seen In The Light Of The Edict Of Milan’, Special Issue on the Edict of Milan, Religija i Tolerancija, 19, 2-10.


‘Peace and Conflict in the Jewish Tradition’, in Lee Marsden, ed., Ashgate Research Companion on Religion and Conflict Resolution, Ashgate Press, Farnham, pp. 49-66.

‘Military Ethics in Contemporary Warfare: From the Field to the Classroom’, in Frank Su and Bart McGettrick, eds, Professional Ethics: Education for a Humane Society. Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 73-87.

‘Ambivalent Normativity: Reasons for Contemporary Jewish Debate over the Laws of War’, in Daniel Langton and Philip Alexander, eds, Normative Judaism? (Piscataway NJ: Gorgias Press).

‘Religious War in the Works of Maimonides and the “Maimonideans”: An idea and its transit across the medieval Mediterranean’, in S. Hashmi, ed., Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads: Christian, Jewish, Muslim Encounters and Exchanges (Oxford/NY: Oxford University Press), pp. 146-64


‘Changing Chaplaincy: a Contribution to Debate over the Roles of US and British Military Chaplains in Afghanistan’, with Stacey Gutkowski, Religion, State and Society, 39: 1, 111 — 124.


‘Jewish Ethics and Pacifism,’ in Nigel Young, ed., International Encyclopedia of Peace, OUP, Oxford.


‘Legitimation and Limits of War in Jewish Tradition’, in Linda Hogan, ed., Religions and the Politics of Peace and Conflict, Wipf & Stock, Eugene OR, pp. 3-24.

‘Living with war, fanaticism and the pragmatic: The ‘pacifist’, the ‘theological’ and the ‘secular’ in the thought of Simone Weil and Franz Rosenzweig’, Theology, January/February 2009, CXII, 865, pp. 24-32.


‘Christianity, Islam and Religious Indifference – the Prospects for Coexistence in the European Union’, in Leszek Jesień, ed., The Borders of European Integration, Tischner European University, Krakow, pp. 41-70.

‘Religious Attitudes to the Middle East Peace Process,’ in Philip Broadhead, ed., Can Faiths Make Peace?, IB Tauris, London, pp. 25-35.

‘Reforming the Commission on Human Rights’, in Ralph Walden, ed., For the Sake of Humanity: Essays in Honour of Clemens Nathan, Brill, Leiden, pp. 367-79.


‘Jewish Renewal’, in Nicholas de Lange and Miri Freud-Kandel, eds, Modern Judaism, Oxford UP, Oxford, pp. 114-25.

‘The Virtues of “Rabbi Moyses”,’ in Istvan Bejczy and Richard Newhauser, eds, Virtue and Ethics in the Twelfth Century, Brill, Leiden, pp. 269-92.


‘Judaism and Justice in War’, in Paul A. Robinson, ed., Just War in Comparative Perspective, Ashgate Press, Aldershot, pp. 9-23.

Available online:

‘Faith and the Just War: Time to Think Again?’, Thinking Faith, 18th March 2008.

Why do we ignore the Red Cross?‘, Guardian, Comment is Free, 28 June 2009.

‘A Bigger Hearts and Minds Operation? – Challenges in Teaching Military Ethics Today’, a lecture to the Hope Forum for Professional Ethics, April 15th 2010.

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