Wednesday, Jan 9 | 1:00-6:00 pm
Thursday, Jan 10 | 1:00- 6:00 pm
Friday, Jan 11, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Instructor: Rita Nakashima Brock
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Moral injury is a new concept that focuses attention on the mental health consequences of witnessing, failing to prevent, or engaging in acts that violate deeply held moral beliefs. It occurs in relation to experiences of extremity, moral ambiguity, and trauma. It manifests in feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, self-condemnation, self-loathing, and despair. Most research has focused on veterans, especially those who have experienced war, but it is not limited to a military experience. We will explore precipitating experiences that can lead to moral injury, pathways to recovery, the role of communities, and theological, ritual, and spiritual implications of understanding it. We will also briefly examine neuroscience research as it illuminates differences between post-traumatic stress and moral injury. We will explore the power of the arts and ritual in soul repair, and civilian moral responsibility for the aftermath of war. The goal of the seminar will be to study these aspects of moral injury as they assist in helping professionals and communities in the work of soul repair after war, violence, and other conditions of extremity.
Rita Nakashima Brock, Rel. M., M.A., Ph.D., is Senior Vice President for Moral Injury Programs at Volunteers of America and a Commissioned Minister in the Pacific Southwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is the first Asian American woman to earn a doctorate in theology, and after eighteen years as a professor of religion and women studies, she became Director of the Radcliffe Fellowship Program at Harvard University (1997-2001). She was also a Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life (2001-2002); a Visiting Scholar at the Starr King School for the Ministry, Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley (2002-2012); Founding Co-Director of Faith Voices for the Common Good (2004-2012); and Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center, Brite Divinity School at TCU (2012-2017). An award-winning author, her 2008 book with Rebecca Parker, Saving Paradise, was selected as a best book in religion by Publisher’s Weekly and was a finalist for the American Academy of Religion Award for Reflective/Constructive Theological Studies. Her 2012 book, Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War (Beacon), co-authored with Gabriella Lettini, is among the first books written on moral injury.