War Stories: How Religion and State Converge in the U.S. Military

Public lecture by Ronit Stahl, Danforth Center, with response by Margot Canaday, Princeton University.



Women’s Building Formal Lounge Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

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This lecture will explore the work of the military chaplaincy in the twentieth century. As part of a large administrative bureaucracy that mobilized the nation for war and needed clergy who could comfort the dying, the chaplaincy became one of very few spaces in which the state formally authorized religious leadership. The lecture analyzes the chaplaincy as the vehicle through which the state mediated military necessity and private faith, thereby revealing the evolving religious commitments of the American state.

Ronit Stahl, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Here she poses for a photograph on the Danforth Campus in St. Louis Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. Photo by Sid Hastings / WUSTL Photos

Ronit Stahl, a postdoctoral fellow with the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, will discuss these distinct negotiations of religion and state, drawing on her prize-winning research and forthcoming book, Fighting With Faith: The Military Chaplaincy and the American State. Stahl earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2014. She also holds a master’s degree in social sciences in education from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Williams College.

mcanadayMargot Canaday, Associate Professor of History at Princeton University, will offer response. Canaday is a legal and political historian who studies gender and sexuality in modern America. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and also holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa. Her first book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America (Princeton, 2009), won several notable prizes. Canaday has won fellowships from, among others, the Social Science Research Council, the Princeton University Society of Fellows, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is co-editor of the series “Politics and Culture in Modern America” at the University of Pennsylvania Press.

We hope you will join us for dinner and discussion as part of this event. Your RSVP will help with our food service and is appreciated.