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The Role and Vocation of the Chaplain

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Chaplains, produced by Martin Doblmeier (who also made the film Bonhoeffer), raises a fundamental issue for Chris­tian chaplaincy: What is its ecclesiology? When a Catholic or Baptist serves as a chaplain for the U.S. military, he or she is a soldier no less than any other person wearing a uniform. Sure, the church ordains and nominates chaplains, and they are noncombatants. But they work for the United States government, not for any specific faith community.  When a chaplain for Tyson Foods insists that the job isn’t just to patch people up so they can go out and make more money for Tyson, one has to wonder: Would Tyson pay for a chaplain if the chaplain’s presence weren’t profitable in some way?

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