Bringing God to men : American military chaplains and the Vietnam War /

"During the latter half of the twentieth century, the American military chaplaincy underwent a profound transformation. A broad-based and ecumenical institution in the post-World War II era, the chaplaincy emerged from the Vietnam War as generally conservative and evangelical. In both eras--bef...

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Main Author: Whitt, Jacqueline E.
Format: Book Electronic
Language:English
Published: Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
Series:JSTOR EBA.
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Online Access:Connect to eBook (Available to people from CARLI member institutions.)
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Main Author:Whitt, Jacqueline E.
Summary:"During the latter half of the twentieth century, the American military chaplaincy underwent a profound transformation. A broad-based and ecumenical institution in the post-World War II era, the chaplaincy emerged from the Vietnam War as generally conservative and evangelical. In both eras--before and after the conflict in Vietnam--the political, martial, and religious views of the chaplaincy mirrored those of mainstream religious and military culture. During the Vietnam War, though, the chaplaincy underwent an exceptional divergence from this conformation to the mainstream. Because of their dual allegiances to their denominations and to the military, chaplains found themselves thrown into the middle of the heated contention surrounding the conflict. Drawing from previously unpublished memories, periodicals, official histories, and oral interviews, Jacqueline Whitt charts the role of the chaplaincy in mediating conflicts between their often anti-war faiths and the military. In this benchmark study, Whitt shows how Vietnam War-era chaplains served as vital links between diverse communities, sometimes working to reconcile--both personally and publicly--conflicting worldviews, while creating religious contexts unique to combat based on shared experience rather than traditional theologies"-- Provided by publisher.

During the second half of the twentieth century, the American military chaplaincy underwent a profound transformation. Broad-based and ecumenical in the World War II era, the chaplaincy emerged from the Vietnam War as generally conservative and evangelical. Before and after the Vietnam War, the chaplaincy tended to mirror broader social, political, military, and religious trends. During the Vietnam War, however, chaplains' experiences and interpretations of war placed them on the margins of both military and religious cultures. Because chaplains lived and worked amid many communities--religious and secular, military and civilian, denominational and ecumenical--they often found themselves mediating heated struggles over the conflict, on the home front as well as on the front lines.



In this benchmark study, Jacqueline Whitt foregrounds the voices of chaplains themselves to explore how those serving in Vietnam acted as vital links between diverse communities, working personally and publicly to reconcile apparent tensions between their various constituencies. Whitt also offers a unique perspective on the realities of religious practice in the war's foxholes and firebases, as chaplains ministered with a focus on soldiers' shared experiences rather than traditional theologies.

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Physical Description:1 online resource (313 pages)
Digital Characteristics:data file
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:9781469614526 (electronic bk.)
1469614529 (electronic bk.)
9781469612959 (electronic bk.)
146961295X (electronic bk.)