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This introductory chapter discusses the long and well-known tradition of ethical, philosophical, and theological reflection on the military and the conditions under which war might be fought. This theme, as it emerges in some of the essays in this volume, are developed in this chapter in terms of three fundamental domains: combatants, ethics and society; re-evaluations of the virtues tradition in a military context; and moral injury and character. The chapter addresses the conflicts of the twentieth century that have generated significant ethical reflectionon the nature of virtue and its relevance for military defense systems. Moreover,soldiering within the context of modern warfare and the recognition ofwhat is termed in shorthand PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) has providedthe conditions for more sustained focus on the experience of moral injury, andassociated concerns for spiritual damage and pastoral care. These various interrelatedstreams in ethical reflection on military defense as a powerful social (andeconomic) system provide the framework are identified in this chapter as preparation for the sustained inquiry in the chapters that follow.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impact of military
Subtitle of host publicationOn character formation, ethics and the communication of values in late modern pluralistic societies
EditorsStephen Pickard, Michael Welker, John Witte Jr.
Place of PublicationLeipzig
PublisherEvangelische Verlagsanstalt GmbH
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783374071883
ISBN (Print)9783374071876
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


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