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Moral Warriors, Moral Wounds

Moral Warriors, Moral Wounds


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The experience of Wollom Jensen's distinguished career in military service and James Childs's long and productive career in the fields of theology and ethics combine to bring Christian ethics into dialogue with the harsh realities of military service in today's world of war. The authors seek to correlate the ethics of neighbor love with the vocation of the chaplaincy, the framework of just war theory, the published values of the military services, and sample issues such as the challenge of pluralism for the chaplaincy, drone warfare, interrogation practices, and truth-telling. Special emphasis is placed on the reality of moral injury and the moral obligation of society and the churches to respond to the needs of these wounded warriors. The book espouses the view that the Christian ethic, more than a set of principles, is a true ministry to those who struggle to be faithful and fear that they have not been.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498223515
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 05/19/2016
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Wollom A. Jensen, Vietnam War veteran and retired Navy chaplain, is an author, poet, preacher, pastor, and professor who currently serves as the Canon to the Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries of the Episcopal Church.

James M. Childs Jr. is Joseph A. Sittler Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. His many publications include Ethics in the Community of Promise: Faith, Formation, and Decision (Fortress) and The Way of Peace: Christian Life in the Face of Discord (Fortress).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 By Way of Introduction 1

Part I The Chaplain and the Challenges of Military Culture

Chapter 2 The Vocation of the Chaplain 13

Setting the Stage 13

Vocational Integrity 20

The Ministry and the Military Chaplaincy: Common Features and Special Challenges 20

An Honest Theology for a Pluralistic Context 21

God and Country 25

Chapter 3 Character and Virtues: The Warrior and the Chaplain 31

Character and the Warrior Culture 32

From the Personal History of Wollom Jensen 33

Character and the "Warrior" Chaplain: Living in Two Worlds 39

Formed by Love 40

Part II Virtues and Principles: The Chaplain and the Warrior

Chapter 4 Loyalty and Duty: A Matter of Promise-Keeping 55

The Chaplain's Covenant 58

Chapter 5 Respect and Selfless Service: Justice and the Virtues of Love 62

Respect: In the Service and Beyond 63

Chapter 6 Honor and Integrity: The "Core" of the Core Values 69

United States Army: Integrity 70

United States Air Force: Integrity 70

United States Navy: Honor 70

United States Marine Corps: Honor 71

United States Coast Guard: Honor 71

Part III The Vocation of Ethical Leadership

Preamble 75

Chapter 7 A Case Study in Ethical Theory 80

From the Personal History of Wollom Jensen 84

Chapter 8 Moral Injury 94

Theological Reilections 101

Chapter 9 Ethical Deliberation and the Ministry of the Chaplain 107

Preamble: The Just War Context 107

Jus post Bellum and Just Peacemaking 112

Decision-Making: A Dialogical Approach 116

Dialogical Ethics and the Ethics of Love 118

Chapter 10 Three Cases in Conflict Resolution 122

Drone Warfare 122

Human Dignity and the Question of Torture 125

Truth-Telling 130

Transition: The Importance of Maintaining Trust 136

Chapter 11 Safe and Sacred Spaces 139

The Civilian-Military Divide 140

Bridging the Divide: Safe and Sacred Spaces 141

Bibliography 147

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is a 'first in the field' book that looks at the ethics challenges confronted by those who are military chaplains and the challenges they face daily, with the primary focus on helping to heal the moral injuries and wounds of troops who have been to war. It is clear, clean, and concise, and in the words of a classic collect in the Book of Common Prayer, this is a book that readers should 'read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.'"  

—William D. Razz Waff, Priest; Chaplain; Retired Major General in the United States Army. His views do not represent the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense. 

"Given the perplexing ethical quandaries and profound soul wounds experienced by millions in the military, we owe a great debt to Jenson and Childs for their salutary exploration into this largely overlooked terrain of ministry and morals. While valuable for many audiences, parish clergy and congregations especially should take note. "Soul injuries" are not simply medical or psychological but require what congregations are uniquely situated to provide if prepared—a faith-based regimen of healing.

—Roger A. Willer, ELCA Pastor; Director for Theological Ethics, ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop

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