Military Chaplaincy in Contention

Chaplains, Churches and the Morality of Conflict

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  • Edited by Andrew Todd, Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, UK
  • Series: Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology
  • Chaplaincy highlights the need for faith and society to re-engage with vital moral questions. Military chaplains continue to operate within the dynamic tension between faith communities, the armed services and society, offering a distinct moral presence and contribution. Drawing the reader into the world of the military chaplain, this book explores insights into the complex moral issues that arise in combat (especially in Afghanistan), and in everyday military life, These include the the increasing significance of the Law of Armed Conflict and the moral significance of drones.

    Through the unique chaplain’s eye view of the significance of their experience for understanding the ethics of war, this book offers clearer understanding of chaplaincy in the context of the changing nature of international conflict (shaped around insurgency and non-state forces) and explores the response of faith communities to the role of the armed services. It makes the case for relocating understandings of just war within a theological framework and for a clear understanding of the relationship between the mission of chaplaincy and that of the military.
  • Contents: Foreword; Preface; Part I Chaplaincy in Contention: Chaplaincy in contention, Andrew Todd; Moral soldiering and soldiers’ morale, Andrew Totten; ‘You’ve been silent, Padre’, Philip McCormack. Part II The Wider Context of Chaplaincy in Contention: Terrorism and interrogation as an issue for chaplains on operations, Peter Sedgwick; The robotisation of war: an end to military virtues?, David Fisher. Part III Chaplains and Their Churches: The British Churches and their chaplains: standing back to back and walking in opposite directions, Peter Howson; ‘O hear us when we cry to Thee’: liturgy in the current operational context, Jonathan Ball; Just war: an ethic of principles or a principled ethic?, James Coleman; Moral engagements: morality, mission and military chaplaincy, Andrew Todd with Colin Butler; Bibliography; Index.
  • About the Editor: Revd Canon Dr Andrew Todd is the Director of the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, employed jointly by St. Michael's College and Cardiff University. He leads research into public sector chaplaincy (including in the armed services). He directs the MTh in Chaplaincy Studies, delivered to Army Chaplains under contract to the MoD, which Cardiff has just won for the third time. He is also involved in lecturing on ethics to all British Army Chaplains. He has wide experience of theological education and is a past President of the Cambridge Theological Federation. He has published a number of articles on military chaplaincy and a number of articles and book chapters on other areas of practical theology. He wrote, with Michael West and Graham Noble, Living Theology (DLT, 1999), for which he did much of the editing.
  • Reviews: ‘The presence of Christian chaplains on the battlefield focuses in a very sharp way the wider tension between a gospel of peace and the need for armed force in a brutal world. I welcome this book as a much needed and valuable contribution from those with first-hand experience of the role and the willingness to think theologically about that tension and the dilemmas it poses.’
    Professor The Rt Revd Lord Richard Harries

    '… well-researched and written and […] an important contribution to the debate which should be taking place.' The Pastoral Review