Spirit of war


The concept of the "spirit of war" is explored through philosophical reflections by trusted experts who discuss the profound ethical and emotional complexities soldiers face during war, and the broader metaphysical questions about conflict and human nature.

Spiritual Disconnect in Modern Warfare

Chaplain Major John Morris speaks on the spiritual disconnect that soldiers experience in modern warfare, particularly referencing U.S. conflicts in the early 21st century. He details the moral crisis faced by soldiers during incidents like Abu Ghraib, where actions that went against the moral and spiritual expectations of the soldiers led to a deep sense of betrayal and spiritual numbness. Morris emphasizes the invisibility of the enemy in modern insurgencies, leading to frustrations about justice and duty among soldiers who feel they haven't fulfilled their protective roles 1.

Spirituality and Judgment in Combat

Mark Divine, a retired Navy SEAL Commander, discusses the role of spirituality in the conduct of warriors. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a spiritual connection even in violent situations, illustrating this with a prayer for forgiveness and guidance used by warriors before combat. Divine contrasts this approach with historical figures like Alexander the Great, who he describes as a conqueror driven by ego rather than the principles of a spiritual warrior. This distinction highlights the ethical considerations that differentiate a warrior who is anchored in spiritual values from one who seeks conquest and power 2.

These insights delve into the deeper aspects of warfare—beyond just physical conflict—exploring the ethical and spiritual dimensions that influence and are influenced by war.

The Soul of War

John Morris reflects on the spiritual impact of war, highlighting the moral dilemmas faced by soldiers in modern conflicts like the one at Abu Ghraib. He delves into the sense of frustration and justice, shedding light on the chaos and anarchy that soldiers grapple with in the face of invisible enemies.

On Being with Krista Tippett

John Morris — The Soul of War