Rita Nakashima Brock, Rel. M., M.A., Ph.D., is a noted theologian who has lectured all over the world. As Co-Founder of the Soul Repair Center, Dr. Brock has become an internationally recognized expert on the emerging study of moral injury and recovery. At The Well, she will be speaking on The Moral Injuries of a Country: The Cost of Dualism, War and Violence, and the Agonies of Now.
Dualistic thinking drives us to divide the world into innocent and evil. Heroes are innocent and good. Villains are guilty and evil. Such thinking is too simplistic to capture lived real experiences. How do we deal with failure, love, violence, personal struggle, economic pressures, costly decisions and so forth matters.
A social contract collapses because its moral foundations are threatened or destroyed by events and behaviors that violate its core values. This lecture will examine, through the lens of moral injury, the recurring and lingering traumatic events that have propelled significant social change in American society and the current context of backlash attempting to reach back to a discredited past.
In December 2008, she and Dr. Gabriella Lettini began work on the Truth Commission on Conscience in War (www.conscienceinwar.org), which, in November 2010, recommended extensive public education on moral injury. In response, she and Dr. Lettini co-authored Soul Repair: Recovery from Moral Injury After War(Beacon, 2012).
A native of Fukuoka, Japan, whose mother was trained in nursing by the Red Cross after WW II, Dr. Brock’s birth father was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and her stepfatherwas a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War who served 29 years in the military. Dr. Brock earned her Ph.D. in philosophy of religion and theology in 1988 from Claremont Graduate University, becoming the first Asian American woman in the country to earn a doctorate in theology and the first ever to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). From 2004 to 2012, she co-founded and directed Faith Voices for the Common Good, which generated online and in-person networked social change projects for progressive faith leaders and organizations and which helped organize the Truth Commission on Conscience in War. She has held a number of leadership positions in the academy and led the effort to create a program unit in 2013 to study moral injury in religion, society, and culture, a unit she co-chairs with Dr. Elizabeth Bounds of Emory University.