Soldiers returning from war have always exhibited signs of psychological and emotional distress. In this book, Bernard J. Verkamp argues that the contemporary response to such symptoms psychiatric treatment and therapy is only a partial solution, and that when dealing with soldiers emotions of guilt and shame we would benefit greatly from a consideration of the religiously grounded practices of the Middle Ages.
Drawing on a wide range of sources, including Reinhold Niebuhr, Michael Walzer, and the long tradition of just war theory, Verkamp offers a stirring and timely call to reconsider our assumptions in light of historical understanding.
A wonderful book. The author s erudition is staggering and the analysis is equally impressive. Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
This work is the first book-length study devoted exclusively to a scholarly and systematic analysis of how soldiers returning from battle have been, or should be, treated morally. Long-scattered historical material is pulled together from a variety of sources to show why and how the early medieval custom of imposing penances on returning warriors first originated, and then, by the end of the Middle Ages, had lapsed into disuse."
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