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Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph. D.
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Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph. D. is Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School.( She was a professor for twenty years, directed the Fellowship Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, a prominent advanced research institute, and from 2001-2002, was a Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life. Her latest book is Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War, co-authored with Gabriella Lettini, 2012 from Beacon Press. The 2012 edition of her book,Saving Paradise: Recovering Christianity's Forgotten Love for This Earth, co-authored with Rebecca Ann Parker, was the theme book for the 2012 Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham, England.

Entries by Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph. D.

Care About a Veteran with PTSD? Here Is How to Help

(7) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 1:56 PM

Dr. William Gibson and I co-authored this article. He is a psychologist and neuropsychologist at the VA Medical Center in Canandaigua, NY.

It's not a new phenomenon for a politician to use someone's suffering for political gain, but Sarah Palin, in addressing her son's arrest last week for...

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We Can Prevent Veteran Suicides

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 7:01 PM

Janci, an Air Force veteran of Iraq, swallowed an entire fistful of pills and a bottle of wine. She called a friend and asked him to take care of her young daughter, who was in school. She locked all the doors and windows and waited for the mercy of death...

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Caitlin Jenner, Rachel Dolezal and the American Politics of Identity

(3) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 6:08 PM

I was brought from Fukuoka, Japan, to the U.S. by my mother Ayako Nakashima and my father Roy Brock when I was 6. At the age of 33, 7 years after Roy had died and the day after Ayako died, I discovered that I had a Puerto Rican birth father,...

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Interreligious Opposition to the Iraq War: We Were Right in 2002 And We're Right Now

(3) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 6:22 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham just announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president with fear-mongering and promising to immediately fight our "enemies," especially "radical Islam."

In effect, Graham thinks we should re-fight the Iraq War with more bombing and even ground troops to fight Islamic State...

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Remembering What Is Impossible to Forget: Moral Injury and War

(4) Comments | Posted May 25, 2015 | 3:20 PM

On a halcyon day in late April, I was gazing toward the English Channel across a vast field of nearly ten thousand glowing white sentinels. The many crosses, punctuated by a few stars of David, are planted in the American Cemetery on a bluff above Omaha Beach in...

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Surviving Dangerous Work Through 'Soul Space'

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 4:39 PM

What if, every day that you are at work, you face serious injury or death? Such work has many challenges, but often unexamined are the spiritual crises that dangerous work entails. It doesn't just threaten the body; it also threatens the soul. For people who do this work, religious communities...

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What Every Woman Should Know About Arizona's Latest Abortion Politics

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 6:21 PM

Co-authored by Dr. Susanne Scholz, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Perkins School of Theology

On April 15, Arizona instituted warrantless surprise searches of abortion clinics, even though abortion is one of the safest medical procedures women use in the United States, with

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The 'Easy' Cure for PTSD? The Cruelty of Shallow Religious Answers

(13) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 2:38 PM

Co-authored by William C. Gibson, Ph.D., VA Psychologist in Rochester, N.Y.

Got PTSD? If you have enough faith, if you truly believe, televangelist Kenneth Copeland asserts you can get over it, right now! The Bible tells you so.

In an interview broadcast on Veterans Day, Copeland asserted...

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Coming Home from War Is Hell: Preventing Veteran Suicides

(9) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 1:18 PM

In 2009, suicides in the active duty military surpassed the general population rate for the first time. A Pentagon study published in August 2013 claimed the rates were not affected by combat, but their study was of active duty and recently retired military. Veteran Affairs clinicians tell a...

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The Military Chaplaincy Needs to Become More Diverse

(20) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 2:03 PM

The responses to my blog in defense of Jason Heap have been thoughtful and fascinating -- he is a Humanist Society candidate for military chaplaincy. Thanks to everyone who took the time to join the conversation!

Among the commenters to the blog, atheists were divided about the need for...

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Why Congress Cannot Bar an Atheist Military Chaplain

(214) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 7:48 PM

Jason Heap, 38, an atheist with a seminary degree, has applied to become a U.S. Navy chaplain, just in time to step into the hornet's nest called Congress. (Full disclosure: Heap graduated from the seminary that employs me and is well regarded by his former professors.) In applying openly as...

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The Death of Chris Kyle Is a Call to Congregations to Support Veterans

(35) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 4:39 PM

The killing of Iraq veteran and national figure Chris Kyle prompted media queries and questions for the three of us who run the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School. Our Center is dedicated to recovery from moral injury in veterans. Rev. Dr. Coleman Baker, Chaplain (Col.) Herman Keizer, Jr....

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The Disastrous Myths of the NRA

(66) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 3:50 PM

In the White House talks about gun control, I hope someone exposes the deceptive, pernicious and incendiary myth of redemption through violence that props up Wayne LaPierre and the NRA gun lobby. Despite their political impotence in the last election, they are at the talks.

That suicidal, delusionary...

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Slaying Innocents and the Meaning and Message of Christmas

(8) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 6:14 PM

The disheveled robed woman, head covered, grasps fiercely at a baby as an armored soldier holds the infant upside down by a tiny foot and stabs it with his sword. Nearby, another women reaches desperately toward a small child impaled on a spear while a soldier holds her at arm's...

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What Kind of People Might We Become if We Stopped Killing Killers?

(80) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 2:35 PM

California's death row, the nation's largest, constitutes a fourth of all awaiting execution. On election day, Proposition 34, the "End the Death Penalty" initiative, failed. Those who opposed Prop 34 wanted execution for the state's most heinous killers.

What constitutes such a killer? Perhaps

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The Bad Christianity Behind 'Rape Is God's Will'

(100) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 2:47 PM

A cruel, violent death, inflicted on purpose, is criminal and immoral, and Jesus was tortured and brutally lynched by a military empire that he organized a movement to oppose. Believing God thought his execution was necessary to save the world of sin is like thinking that pouring sludge on people...

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Religious Progressives Cannot Sit Out This Election

(5) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 6:27 PM

Mitt Romney Palined his campaign by making a desperate Hail Mary political choice to mollify the far right with a fascist running mate, thereby shooting himself in the left foot. Unlike the inspiration for the verb, who has spawned many a satire, the pious, grim Ryan is not nearly as...

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Moral Injury: The Crucial Missing Piece in Understanding Soldier Suicides

(17) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 12:06 PM

This piece was co-authored by Col. Herman Keizer, Jr. (ret.), Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center, who served for 34 years as a military chaplain, and Dr. Gabriella Lettini, co-author of 'Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War,' Beacon, forthcoming November 2012.

The crisis of military suicides,...

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Memorial Day, War, and the Dead We Ignore

(16) Comments | Posted May 28, 2012 | 9:06 AM

[This piece is written with Gabriella Lettini and based on our book Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War.]

On Memorial Day, President Barack Obama will attend an anniversary ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It's a long custom for presidents to honor the nation's war...

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Why Occupy Oakland Persists in Searching for a Home

(9) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 6:08 PM

Occupy Oakland has endured two months of police harassment. We have managed to maintain a presence at the plaza where we originally pitched our tents, which were removed in a second raid on Nov. 14. But this has gotten increasingly difficult; the city has decided that passing out food, resting...

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