Religion in the Ranks

Religion in the Ranks : Belief and Religious Experience in the Canadian Forces

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What role does religion play in the Canadian Forces today? Examining the changing functions of the official religious leaders in the chaplaincy as well as the place and purpose of religion in the lives of regular military personnel, Religion in the Ranks explores this question in the context of late modernity and the Canadian secular state. In-depth interviews with chaplains and with personnel of differing spiritual beliefs offer insight into how religion affects the real life experiences of those who have endured difficult assignments, witnessed atrocities, and struggled to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder. While identifying the historic function of religion in the Canadian Forces, Joanne Benham Rennick demonstrates that spiritual interests remain important, even to those who do not consider themselves to be religious. Arguing that the leadership, practices, and beliefs rooted in religious affiliations create essential support systems for individuals, both at home and on assignment, Benham Rennick shows that there is still a place for religion in Canada's military.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 24mm | 408.23g
  • University of Toronto Press
  • Toronto, Canada
  • English
  • 1 figure; 2 tables
  • 1442642874
  • 9781442642874
  • 2,043,798

Review quote

'This book is of interest to anyone concerned with religious pluralism in a Canadian context... The methodological thoroughness of Benham Rennick is commendable, particularly for a civilian studying the military, with limited access to information and the limited amount of existing research on the role of religion in the Canadian armed forces.' -- Kathleen A. Riddell Studies in Religion, vol 42:01:2013

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Table of contents

Acknowledgements Foreword, by Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire PART ONE: Introduction * Premise * Methods * The Late Modern Approach to Religion PART TWO: An Historical Overview of the CF Chaplaincy *1914-1945: Forming a Chaplain Branch *1946-1980: Becoming a Modern Bureaucratic Force *1980-2007: A "Postmodern" Context * The 21st Century: Towards an Interfaith Branch PART THREE: Unusual Officers * Personality, Motivation, Commitment * Presence, Trust, and Rapport * Alike but Different PART FOUR: The Rank and File * Private Religion * Religious Interests as a Response to Hardship and Suffering * Formal Religion PART FIVE: Conclusions * The Continuing Significance of Religion * Modernization and Religion in the CF * Lack of Religious Knowledge * Stigma and Anomie Bibliography

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About Joanne Rennick

Joanne Benham Rennick is an assistant professor in the Department of Contemporary Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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