Soul Repair: Rita Nakashima Brock

Soul Repair: Rita Nakashima Brock

"It's not PTSD, and it's not a disease. It is a natural reaction that anyone would have to an assault on their conscience," says our guest Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock. She's describing the concept of moral injury, which affects combat veterans and others who have been put in devastating situations. Brock is at the forefront of research on this condition, and its treatment, which she and others refer to as "soul repair."

Also, we have a special extra on the podcast. Independent producer Katie Klocksin brings us a story of one congregation's struggle with the public witness of their values, as they decide whether or not to put up a sign at their church saying "Black Lives Matter."

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According to a 2013 article in the New York Times, "Moral injury might best be defined as an affliction of the soul, as distinct from a specific mental health condition like post-traumatic stress disorder. It arises, to speak in a very broad way, from the way a combatant’s actions in war seem to violate and thus undermine the most deeply held moral beliefs."

Brock and her co-author, Gabriella Lettini, wrote about the condition in their recent book, Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War. Brock is also the co-founder of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School.

With Rebecca Ann Parker, Brock is the co-author of Proverbs of Ashes : Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us, and with Susan Thistlethwaite she co-authored Casting Stones: Prostitution and Liberation in Asia and the United States.

In late October 2015, Brock and others participated in a national conference, Pathways To Hope for Moral Injury and Other Invisible Wounds, held in Kansas City. You can find out more about the conference here.

Also on the Show

Our friend Katie Klocksin files a narrative piece, exploring the conversations and struggles the the Unitarian Church in Evanston went through recently in deciding whether or not to erect a large sign outside their church proclaiming "Black Lives Matter."

Klocksin has been an independent producer for NPR and the Third Coast Audio Festival. She grew up attending the church, and is able to give listeners a behind-the-scenes view of the process they undertook in making their decision.
 

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