Blaming religion for creating conflict has become a popular activity in recent years. Such a conclusion, however, does not survive contact with the evidence. The closer the examination of specific situations, the less explanatory value there is in blanket statements about the culpability of religion for violence in the world.
Yet, in the 21st century, the role played by religious belief in any particular conflict has become more significant. Religious factors are at least equal to social, cultural and psychological ones in understanding the sources of conflict and the motivations of the combatants. Even in a supposedly secular society like our own, values linked to religion are embodied in many of the decisions we make.
Beginning with the idea that the battlefield has irrevocably become the battlespace, the authors of this collection of articles and essays explore the relation between religion and modern warfare in a variety of historical and contemporary contexts.
Peter H. Denton is Associate Professor of History (part-time) at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he has taught in the Officer Professional Military Education program since 2003 and in the graduate program in War Studies since 2004. An ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, he holds a Ph.D. in Religion and the Social Sciences (McMaster), and is an instructor in ethics and in technical communications at Red River College. Research Fellow at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies and a Research Associate at the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics (both at the University of Manitoba), he is also a member of the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba.
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