Arthur Carl Piepkorn: Chaplain to the Greatest Generation

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Including his classic essay “What Chance Has the Chaplaincy?”

Well known as an authority on the Lutheran Confessions and ecumenism, Arthur Carl Piepkorn also had a distinguished career as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. In WW II he was pastor to soldiers of the greatest generation, serving with humility and grace while advancing to the highest echelons in the European Theater. A new ALPB book tells his story as based on Army records and letters to Miriam, his wife. His evangelical catholic posture was just as evident in uniform as elsewhere. Included in the book is Piepkorn’s never before published incisive understanding of the armed forces chaplaincy as an institution both of church and state.

The reviews speak for themselves:

“As a Lutheran layman and US Army officer, I found this book on Arthur Carl Piepkorn fascinating and insightful.  Capturing Piepkorn’s role as a tremendous leader, pastor, chaplain, and theologian is significant because of his remarkable impact on the military during World War II and beyond.” Michael Meese, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired)

“John Hannah traces the military career of one of American Lutheranism’s most prominent theologians through critical events in our nation’s history. This book documents how Piepkorn, going all the way back to post WWII Europe, laid bare the pragmatic, theological, legal, and ethical foundations for future generations of chaplains. Paul Robert Sauer, Chaplain (Captain), U.S. Army Reserve (LCMS pastor)

“My classmate and fellow student and assistant to Arthur Carl Piepkorn has produced a monograph that could well serve as a model, pattern, and foundation stone for the Army chaplaincy as it remains focused on sharing life with soldiers as a servant. Had I had this when I was Commandant of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School it would have been a must read for staff and students.” Gilbert H. Pingel, Chaplain (Colonel), U.S. Army (Retired) (LCMS pastor)

“Like many, I knew Dr. Piepkorn as one of the pre-eminent Lutheran theologians of the 20 th Century. I knew he had been an Army chaplain, but I did not know what a distinguished career he had wearing the uniform. This small biography will show that side of a fine Lutheran pastor, theologian and chaplain who served his God and the Church while ministering to our troops in uniform and setting policies that would continue to serve them when he returned to civilian life.” Pastor Charles Austin, Retired ELCA pastor, former journalist for ELCA & LWF

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