About Soul Repair

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The Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, established in 2012 offers public education and conducts research on moral injury and recovery in military veterans, as well as other professions that involve high stakes situations.

Moral injury results from reflection on experiences  in morally ambiguous, life-or-death situations. For example, in the context of violence or emergency, people may feel that they violated core moral values by their own actions or by failing to prevent or witnessing acts that challenge their ethical foundations and sense of being a moral person. They may also have had to handle human remains and feel haunted by the dead or feel guilty about surviving. Unresolved traumatic grief or feeling betrayed by persons in authority can also be precipitating factors.

The Center educates religious and non-profit communities, employers, educators, religious leaders, chaplains, seminarians, and medical care-givers—about the ways we can enable the return to ordinary life of those who experience moral injury. Since its official launch on November 12, 2012, the Center has been featured in national media stories. It is a major resource for:

  • Training congregations and seminaries to
    • Welcome veterans into their communities and serve the spiritual needs of veterans;
    • Offer hospitality to veterans and friends and families struggling with moral injury;
    • Develop ritual resources and study scriptures that address moral injury in their communities;
    • Use the arts to process moral injury; and
    • Provide useful programmatic resources for diverse religious communities.
  • Organizing specialized and regional programs such as:
    • Religious associations and congregations
    • Colleges and Universities
    • Veteran Associations
    • Civic and Social Groups
    • Medical care-givers
  • Developing re-entry and reintegration processes that support long-term recovery and a hopeful future.
  • Fostering research into moral injury and offering an online information source for understanding moral injury and the many dimensions of recovery.
  • Supporting non-polarizing, complex, and engaged conversations about the moral questions that govern the conduct of war and other forms of socially sanctioned violence. These conversations enable non-partisan community engagement across traditional political and religious divides and foster deep listening practices that better serve the individual struggles of conscience in veterans.
  • Disseminating information and training for places around the world that struggle in the aftermath of war and violence and that seek opportunities and avenues to support spiritual healing in their societies.