The phenomenon of a war conflict in the modern socio-political context is extremely complicated in terms of logical and moral justification of one’s actions as well as the process of rehabilitation after the process. Participation in a war conflict is a challenge for one’s mental health, with the complications of war scarring a person’s self-perception and moral values for the rest of their life. Thus, when addressing the notion of reconciliation after the battle, every chaplain should acknowledge that besides spiritual dilemmas people go through, they are faced with complex mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
For this reason, as a US Army chaplain, I would promote the complex approach to healing through the spiritual act of coming to terms with one’s actions as well as the promotion of professional counseling. Based on the just war theory, I would encourage the individual to draw a line between the justified actions taking place in a war conflict and coexistence in the world not driven by revenge. In this case, the soldier would be asked to contemplate and define the major provisions of jus ad Bellum and jus in Bello as primary components of any just military conflict (Langan 1984).
When outlining these aspects, the individual will be more likely to acknowledge that the reasons justifying the combat in the past are no longer applicable to the present context. As a result, when one’s actions are justified, people should not and could not blame themselves for going against moral and spiritual dogmas of compassion and coexistence. Simultaneously, they could not justify their revengeful actions after there were no justifications for combat.
Hence, it may be concluded that the paradigm of just war theory is a beneficial tool in terms of promoting the spiritual healing of an individual. Indeed, in some cases, people are prone to accuse themselves of immoral actions driven by the socio-political environment. However, the underlying objective of a chaplain is also to promote complex rehabilitation therapy so that a person can reconcile from war and encourage feelings of empathy and pacifism in a peaceful community.
Langan, John. 1984. “The Elements of St. Augustine’s Just War Theory.” The Journal of Religious Ethics 12 (1):19-38.