Military chaplains share perspectives on morality of conflict

Published 21 June 2013
(Photo: Church in Wales)
The Reverend Andrew Totten with soldiers in Afghanistan

The Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies has published a new book discussing moral and ethical issues around various aspects of conflict.

"Military Chaplaincy in Contention - Chaplains, Churches and the Morality of Conflict" is a collection of essays considering a wide range of issues such as terrorism, soldiers' morale, and the use of prayers and services on operations.

It is the first book to be released by the centre and contributions have been made by those who have ministered to soldiers on the front line of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.

One chapter by a serving chaplain was written mostly while he was in Afghanistan.

The book is edited by the centre's director, the Reverend Canon Dr Andrew Todd.

He said, "The project which gave rise to the book was originally supported by the British Academy who funded workshops at which chaplains and others associated with the Centre came together to talk about the moral questions facing Forces' chaplains today, and their moral role within the services.

"The book tackles a number of these issues. It is very contemporary and was written with current operations in Afghanistan in mind."

The Chaplain General of the British Army, the Reverend Jonathan Woodhouse QHC, said the book was unique.

"There is nothing else like it on the market which looks at British Military chaplaincy in this way. The mix of high-octane up-to-date operational Army chaplaincy experience gained over the past ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan is one thing.

"When you combine that experience in the field with serious theological and ethical reflection from both British Army chaplains and the professional theological expertise of the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, this book becomes something quite special.

"Here is a visionary, challenging, contentious and serious examination of ethical theory and practical decision-making in the military realm.

"I hope this book plays a leading part in the development of military chaplains in their thinking and in the influence we can have in the realm of moral guidance, especially in the British military context."

"Military Chaplaincy in Contention - Chaplains, Churches and the Morality of Conflict" is published by Ashgate and priced £17.99.

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