This article offers the notion of ‘blue disciple’ as a constructive concept that might encourage and enlarge Christian engagements in dealing with the contemporary marine ecological crisis. I start with a discussion on the sea in Christian ecological discourse and practice. Then, I reread Jesus’ call for the four Galilean fishermen in Mark 1:16–20 to construct this idea of a blue disciple navigated by the community of creation paradigm. The blue disciple insists that engaging in efforts to overcome the marine ecological crisis in order to let the sea and its creatures flourish is a Christian call. Christian churches are, thus, invited to participate in a blue discipleship.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed global dependency on essential workers and the susceptibility of social dynamics. Essentiality is a haunting primordial issue because it is still defined by socio-economic functions rather than people’s worth as human beings. For Marx, Feuerbach’s concept of homo deus is an inversion of Christian anthropology which ends as a mere ‘theological nicety’. In response to Marx, I hold that religion is an efficient ideology that transcends abstraction. The current crisis shows that religion’s problem lies elsewhere: it can be counterproductive to social causes and hardly fit inside the limits of reason. Elaborating Lévinas’s concern over theodicy, I appeal to anthropodicy as an impetus for religious ideology to embrace vulnerability and nurture solidarity. After Lévinas, I reinterpret essentiality as a responsibility that surpasses our rationality. With the alignment of essentiality and responsibility, anthropodicy can support religious ideology to welcome the vulnerable others and encourage social responsibility.
With warfare’s increasing complexity and damage from ethical failures, it is critical for defence forces to develop best practice training in military ethics. As the Australian Army’s Good Soldiering program suggests, soldiers require technical but also ethical competence. But how are ethical behaviours and the virtues they depend on cultivated in soldiers and how can chaplains contribute as public theologians? Military ethics education includes teaching just war principles of Laws of Armed Conflict, as well as understanding illegal orders and command responsibility. But ultimately ethical behaviour, following Aristotle, is grounded in character development and best informed by a revival of virtue ethics. Case studies are a training format which cultivate virtues and their application. Military ethics training at its best is virtue-based and practiced with simulated dilemmas in order to equip soldiers to act justly and exercise ‘good soldiering’ in the home, barracks, field and operations.
The overall aim of this article is to make a theological case for Ukraine’s integration into the European family of nations. I build this case by pursuing two primary lines of argument: firstly, by demonstrating the implausibility of the common assumptions (held by many Ukrainian Christians) that Russia is more ‘spiritual’ and ‘Christian’ than ‘secular’ and ‘godless’ Europe. Secondly, I seek to make a positive case for why principles, such as human dignity and human rights, cultural diversity, democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law, are much more appropriate indicators of Christian values than nominal allegiance to religious institutions among a certain population. This article is divided into three parts. Part One identifies and critiques the salient features of the “Holy Russia” myth with illustrations drawn from various representative figures. Part Two is devoted to the defence of the European tradition in which I advance the counterintuitive argument that secular liberalism is more in continuity with orthodox Christianity than Christian nationalism. In Part Three, I apply these general points to the specific issue of Ukraine and its fate as a European nation.