#1115 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 23 August 2015
The Australian Christian Book of the Year is awarded annually to an original book written by an Australian citizen. This year the winner was Captains of the Soul: A History of Australian Army Chaplains by Michael Gladwin.
The common task of the military chaplain remains the ministry of Word and sacraments to soldiers, burying the dead, and making sense of the conflict, chaos and suffering. The letters and journals of chaplains and soldiers animate this account of the work of chaplains in every theatre of war involving Australian troops.
Gladwin writes frankly about chaplains who behaved disgracefully, and addresses the problem of fatalism amongst some troops.
But acts of heroism by ‘the soldier without a gun’ abound, delivering a treasury of inspiring, home-grown stories. Michael Gladwin has given us a history of national importance and an insight into the Australian character. Look out for Captains of the Soul wherever good books are sold.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.