The Centenary of the ‘war to end all wars’ has brought to prominence both the pain and the pride of the armed forces. But it also raises some perennial questions about such forces, the place of Christians within them, and the Christian response to commemorating the events of war. This booklet sets out to outline the place and role of armed forces and the ‘Just War’ theory, to look at some of the pressures under which personnel of the modern Western world’s militaries serve as well as some of the moral issues surrounding the existence and the use of these same forces.
It spends some time discussing the place of Christians in the military and the role of chaplains as God’s servants and witnesses within it. Finally it makes some observations and suggestions about commemoration ceremonies, both of wars in general and individual battles in particular.
John Neal was ordained in 1968 in Nelson, New Zealand and served in parishes in that country plus fi ve years in the Diocese of Quebec as Priest/Pilot in their Labrador Mission. He enlisted in the RNZAF in 1986 and served for 23 years, rising to Principal Defence Chaplain of the NZ Defence Force before retiring in 2009.
ISBN: 978 1 906327 31 6