Chaplaincy toward spiritual and moral services support by Werner S. Afunde
This book consists of eight (8) chapters.
The book is developed by first giving a contextual orientation of early developments of the military chaplaincy (Chapter 1). It analyzes the chaplaincy development during the history of the church and examines the early Christian attitudes towards war. These aspects serve as a relevant horizon and introduction to the forthcoming debate and practical development of the Namibian military chaplaincy.
Thereafter (Chapter 2), due note of principal debates on just war moral tradition is taken with special reference to its description, its conditions of going to war and means of fighting the war, and the view of the theologians on its criteria. Before concluding with the question whether the just war theory still holds today or holds some credibility.
In Chapter 3 we examine the chaplaincy to the Namibians while living in exile during the war of liberation of our country. Issues in focus will be chaplain profile, achievements, drawbacks and challenges they faced as they tried to minister during the time of conflict.
In Chapter 4 the chaplaincy in the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the war of liberation is dealt with. It presents the historical context as well as challenges, controversies and concerns of some churches around the chaplaincy during the apartheid era.
In Chapter 5 a professional profile of how the chaplain minister within the military organization is developed, stressing the specific characteristics of military organization in its totality. It analyzes the position of a chaplain as insider or outsider vis a vis in the armed force, and religious activities in different operations are part of command function. The chapter invites chaplains to accept that the service in which they are involved is a non-building specific and a mobile ministry.
In Chapter 6 the mandate, given by the republican constitution and religious bodies, as well as the military establishment for the Namibian chaplaincy is discussed. This chapter is used as a backdrop for investigating and analysing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and mapping out the way forward for the Namibian chaplaincy (Chapter 7).
Chapter 8 is an attempt to establish the legitimacy of the organization in the region, especially the place of the Spiritual and Moral Services Support Work Group in the Interstate Defence Security Community, and its Rules of Procedures. In doing this, four chaplains’ services of SADC are closely examined chiefly with regard to the roles, organization, and functions of the identified SADC member states.
In conclusion, it is argued that the chaplaincy has a rightful place in the military organization given the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. Hence, the challenge to all religious bodies to recognize their obligations to minister to their members of the armed forces, and to grant opportunities to people to exercise their religion freely, in accordance with the cultures and traditions they represent. It is also stressed that various arrangements can be made to ensure efficiency in recruitment, training, policy, administration, management and service.
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