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Professor Martin CookProfessor Martin Cook of the Naval War College will present a paper at a “Religion in the Armed Forces” conference at the University of California, Berkeley on December 15.

In their inexorable drive to uncover the religious roots of contemporary conflict, scholars often lose sight of the many ways in which religion shapes conflict short of causing war. Religion can influence the identities of participants and opponents, the legitimacy of weapons and targets, the timing and location of confrontations, how soldiers dress, eat, fight or die, tactical and strategic calculations, or the conceptualization of victory and defeat.

This two-day conference offers a fresh look at the role of religion in contemporary war by investigating the impact of religion on the armed forces of modern states. Participants will discuss the role of religion in military demography, organization, practices, discourse, clergy and doctrine. In conceiving of religion as a pervasive force in warfare we can start shifting the emphasis of our analyses away from extreme cases, involving religious extremists and fanatics, and onto the broader universe of religion and contemporary inter-state conflict.
 
The event is sponsored by the university’s Institute for International Studies and co-sponsored by its Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.
 
By Naval War College Public Affairs
Source: The Religion, Politics and Globalization Program at UC Berkeley