“The study of religion is not just about religious traditions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and others.  Religious Studies is about how religion produces meaning.  Normative values or those values which govern how we might best live our lives is one of the arenas of Religious Studies.  In some cases the experience of the Vietnam war was the “dark night of the soul” for many Veterans.  Amidst the chaos and violence of the war, their religious values were tested. For some, their religious values were strengthened.  For others, the war destroyed their confidence in religious values.  For still others, it was their religious values which propelled them headlong into a conflict with their own country and with their neighbors, friends and families.  Among these there were many who saw the Vietnam War as a screaming testimony against religion which had proven so helpless to end the violence and end the war.  These issues alone would make Religious Studies the most appropriate venue to study this war and others.”

Prof. Richard D. Hecht


The Impact of the Vietnam War on American Religion and Culture