The Use of Religious Symbols in American Military Press Releases

Authors: Ann Strahle

 

Abstract – This work crosses historical and critical cultural traditions and examines the status of religion in militaristic iconography and ritual and examines two main questions. What happens when collective goals are in opposition to the individual’s personal morals and ethics? Is religion used to justify military acts or attitudes by the individual in order to come to terms with their service?

This project will examine press releases on the National Guard website within a three month period. The goal is to look for meaning on how they support (or not support) the use of religion by the military and the American civil religion. I am interested in the cultural work of religion, or what religion is being used to do.

Historically, I will trace the uses of religious practices and rituals within the military. Historians such as Jonathan Ebel, Jolyon Mitchell, and Martha Nussbaum will inform this discussion

Keywords: critical cultural studies; history; journalism; public relations; military; national guard; religion; symbolism

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