Suid-Afrikaanse kapelaansvroue en die Grensoorlog (1966–1989): ’n Gevallestudie van denominale pastorale versorging
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South African chaplains’ spouses and the Border War (1966–1989): A case study of denominational pastoral care. Pastoral care of soldiers during times of war and armed conflict has been part and parcel of the Christian religion since the Council of Ratisbon officially authorised chaplains for armies in 742. However, studies in South Africa revealed that government institutions and especially the Dutch-Afrikaans denominations did not wholeheartedly adhere to this tradition during the two world wars of the twentieth century. The task of pastoral care to those affected by the war circumstances was left to civilian organisations and women. Socio-political changes invalidated this accussation during the Border War (1966–1989). This article gives a historical perspective on the pastoral care endeavours of the spouses of military chaplains as a case study of denominational support to those affected by armed conflict. Women’s experiences during war circumstances have long been neglected in academic circles. During times of war, they are often the victims of human rights’ abuses, but they also become beacons of hope and consolation, as is illustrated in this article. This exposition contributes to a historical understanding of the way women experience war and the support they provide during times of armed conflict. It also illustrates the value of women during times of war trauma, and provides a different perspective on the military context, which is usually mostly defined in masculine terms.