Rosman-Stollman, Elisheva. “Religious Accommodation as a Civil-Military Looking Glass: The Case of the Indian and Israeli Armed Forces.” Journal of Church and State (early view; online first).
Military establishments view religious soldiers with mixed feelings. On the one hand, they can be seen as a fifth column: Will such soldiers follow orders should these orders clash with religious obligations? Aside from considering these soldiers ideologically, militaries must deal with them on a practical level (accommodating—or not—religious commandments, such as wearing clothing conforming to religious requirements, observing dietary laws). They must also consider how relevant religious observance is to the role of being a soldier: Is it conducive? Detrimental? Perhaps it has no impact? These problems become more acute particularly in military systems that have no official religious affiliation but conscript religious soldiers.
There are many ways to deal with these soldiers. Is there a way of predicting which kind of military will utilize what kind of treatment mode toward its religious members? This article suggests a possible theoretical construct regarding what might influence the managing of religious diversity in the ranks. The more removed a military is from society, the more likely it is to utilize internal mechanisms when dealing with religious soldiers. The less removed it is from society, the more likely it will be to turn to external—even civilian—mediating mechanisms in this regard.