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Browsing by Author "Suominen, Xana"

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  • Suominen, Xana (2016)
    Religion is increasingly a part of public discussion. This study investigated the theme in the context of the Finnish armed forces, by researching the attitudes towards religion of a young group of officers. The objective was to uncover if they opined that they would professionally benefit from added knowledge on the on religions and cultures. The study was conducted by first analyzing a variety of religious texts from the Bible and the Qur’an, using the method of reception. After this, analysis of a course designed to improve the officers’ action competence was conducted, by researching its content as it applied to religious material. Finally, a reception exercise was conducted with the students, who also answered additional questions on their values and their opinions on necessary education on the matter. Material from a US document was also analyzed in increase context. The results were that almost all of students did find religious and cultural education useful in their profession. Religion was not personally important to them, and while most exhibited an unattached attitude towards the texts, some were in part even hostile towards them. In their opinion religion should have no part in any decision making which involved the running of a state, but Christianity had value as part of the Finnish cultural heritage and value system. The core values explicated by the students were love of home and family, love of country, wanting to belong to a community, uprightness, honesty, justice and appreciation of professionalism. Ethical considerations were discussed greatly and contradictory expectations of them weight on many of them, i.e. the expectations for officers to be both gentlemen (and women) and killers. They were also worried of having to take a life, showing no trigger-happy attitude, as far as the author observed. As a further study it is suggested that similar experiences from soldiers on international missions and from other governmental agencies are collected, in order to create a system of education in this area.