The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Centuries
The Sword of the Lord is the first book to examine military chaplains and the development of the military chaplaincy across history and geography - from the first to the twenty-first century, from Europe to North America. The scope of this work reveals the astonishing fact that the military chaplaincy has existed in a recognizable form for more than 1600 years. Contributors analyze specific historical moments in the development of the chaplaincy, beginning in antiquity and progressing through the Crusades, the English Civil War, the American Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War. Four key themes connect the chapters of this book. The first is the basic issue of historical development over time. Where and when did the military chaplaincy begin and how has it changed? A second theme involves the emotionally and spiritually intense relationships that develop between chaplains and the men and women they serve. How have military chaplains dealt with the enormous responsibility of ministering to soldiers about to kill or possibly be killed? The third theme is that of chaplains' often precarious position between military and religious authorities.