Joanne Benham RennickReligion in the Ranks: Belief and Religious Experience in the Canadian Forces

University of Toronto Press, 2011

by Amarnath Amarasingam on September 24, 2013

Joanne Benham Rennick

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What is the role of religion in the military? What are the roles of religious chaplains in the military? How are important issues such as post-traumatic stress, religious and ethnic diversity, and related concerns dealt with in the Canadian Forces? Joanne Benham Rennick’s ground-breaking book Religion in the Ranks: Belief and Religious Experience in the Canadian Forces (University of Toronto Press, 2011) approaches these issues head on. Based on extensive interviews with chaplains and with personnel of various religious and spiritual backgrounds, the book provides much needed insight into the religious lives of military personnel. How do soldiers who have endured difficult assignments, witnessed atrocities, and perhaps experience feelings of ongoing isolation cope? And how important is religion and spirituality in this coping process? How are all these questions further complicated by the increasing ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity of the military personnel themselves? We talk to Joanne about these and related matters such as the difficulties involved in obtaining access to do research on the military in the first place, and some of the challenges faced by military personnel after they return home. Thanks for listening.

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