IGE Teaches New Course for Military Chaplains
On 1-2 July, 2009, CFIA senior fellow Dr. Pauletta Otis and IGE president Dr. Chris Seiple team taught a new course at Fort McPherson for US army chaplains. The focus of this class was on the relationship between religion and security, with a special emphasis on the role of the military chaplaincy in this relationship. The course introduced basic concepts and common definitions, and surveys relevant literature in the field. The course looked at religion as a factor in various kinds of violence such as conventional war, counterinsurgency, genocide, suicide bombing, martyrdom, revolution, and terrorism. The course also discussed the ethical norms and history of violence in each of the major world religions and the indigenous or non-traditional religions. Other aspects of the course included: regional application of the theoretical materials, religion in negotiation and conflict management, assessment and leveraging of leadership (indigenous religious groups, military command leadership, leadership of the Chaplain and the Unit Ministry team), and discussion of the Joint Publication 1-05 and the Army Chaplain’s new emphasis on world religions. Each of the sessions provided frameworks for analysis, assessment techniques, engagement pointers, and specific information for each of the COCOMS. Although theory is basic to understanding, specific case studies were referenced to ensure that there was a reality check for applicability to real world challenges.