How does religion affect the lives of professional soldiers? How does religion shape militaries, their organization, procedures, and performance? This volume is the first to address these questions by comparing religious symbols and practices in nine countries: Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, India, the United States, and Turkey. The contributors explore how and why soldiers pray, the role of religious rituals prior to battle, the functions that chaplains perform, the effects of religion on recruitment and unit formation, and how militaries grapple with ensuing constitutional dilemmas.
Ron E. Hassner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the co-director of Berkeley's Religion, Politics and Globalization Program and the founder and first chair of the International Studies Association's section on Religion and International Relations. His first book, War on Sacred Grounds (2009), examines the causes and characteristics of disputes over sacred places around the globe and analyzes the conditions under which these conflicts can be managed. He has also published on the topic of religion and conflict in International Security, Security Studies, Civil Wars, International Studies Quarterly, Terrorism and Political Violence, and others. He has contributed chapters on similar themes to several edited volumes.
Introduction: 1. Religion in the military: challenges and opportunities Ron E. Hassner; Part I. Rituals, Beliefs, and Practices: 2. Japan Aaron Skabelund and Akito Ishikawa; 3. Canada Joanne Benham Rennick; 4. United Kingdom Victor Dobbin and Stephen Deakin; Part II. Religious Demographics in the Armed Forces: 5. Pakistan C. Christine Fair; 6. Israel Stuart A. Cohen; Part III. Religion and Military Operations: 7. Iran Mahsa Rouhi; 8. India Amit Ahuja; Part IV. Constitutional Challenges: 9. United States Martin L. Cook; 10. United States Pauletta Otis; 11. Turkey Aysegul Komsuoglu and Gul Kurtoglu Eskisar; Conclusion: 12. Promising themes, future approaches Eric Patterson.