Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America
Reviewed by Gregg Brekke
The formation of an “American religion” is an often discussed topic that generally weaves together a narrative consisting of Pilgrim religious persecution, pioneer independence, and patriotic zeal. Few, however, have sought to trace another unique aspect of religion is the United States – its peculiar and overarching pluralistic identification in modern secular society.
Ronit Stahl addresses the formation and dissemination of this association via the lens of the military chaplaincy throughout the 20th century in Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America. Her argument centers on the ways in which chaplains were trained and worked to serve all soldiers, regardless of creed, instilling values in military personnel that ultimately influenced the broader culture.