Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

For God and Country: Religion and the Military

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life


Further Reading

Carlson, John and Jonathan Ebel. From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America. (University of California Press, 2012).
Carlson and Ebel explore the religious dimensions of violence—which are often left untouched— in order to make sense of American history in terms of its institutions, ideas, and identities.


Carlson, John. “Winning Souls and Minds: The Military’s Religion Problem and the Global War on Terror,” Journal of Military Ethics, Vol. 7, No. 2. 2008.
America’s role in the religiously charged War on Terror has yielded calls for greater ‘religious situational awareness’ in political life and conflict. Though Carlson endorses such proposals, he suggests that such awareness can only be kindled by the broad-based study of religion.


Durward, Rosemary and Lee Marsden. Religion, Conflict, and Military Intervention. (Ashgate, 2009).
Drawing from both Christian and Islamist theology, Durward and Marsden flesh out the role of religion in conflict in the twenty-first century. 


Ebel, Jonathan. Faith in the Fight: Religion and the American Soldier in the Great War. (Princeton University Press, 2010).
Using letters and diaries from servicemen and women, Ebel reveals the fundamental role that religion, particularly Christianity, played during the Great War. Interpreted by many as a religious calling, the conflict both strengthened the faith commitment of soldiers and helped launch a religious revival in the postwar period. 


Hassner, Ron and Michael Horowitz. “Debating the Role of Religion in War,” International Security, Vol. 35, No. 1. 2010.


Hedges, Christopher. War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. (Anchor, 2003).
For many, war provides a sense of purpose. Hedges describes the impact of this myth on soldiers, politicians, the media, artists, and ordinary citizens as he encourages readers to treat this and other war myths with a discerning eye.


Krakauer, Jon. Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. (Anchor, 2010).
Krakauer details the life of Pat Tillman, an elite Army Ranger who turned down a multi-million dollar NFL contract to join the military. Tillman’s reflections on combat in Iraq and Afghanistan illuminate the complicated and sometimes contradictory nature of war.


Preston, Andrew. Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy. (Knopf, 2012).
Preston gives a massive historical overview of religion in U.S. foreign policy from the American Revolution to present day.

Review of the Event
(Article in the Heights, Boston College's Independent Student Newspaper)