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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.(www.brite.edu/soulrepair). 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.

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

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 5:21 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 | 1:38 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 | 12:18 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 | 1:03 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 | 6:48 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 | 3:39 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 | 2:50 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 | 5:14 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 | 1:35 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 | 1:47 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 | 5:27 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 | 11:06 AM

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 | 8:06 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 | 5:08 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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Occupy Oakland: Reflections From the Alameda County Jail

(21) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 5:00 PM

During the eight hours I spent in the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility in Oakland, I had a lot of time to think as I sat in a concrete cell and watched my seven other Occupy Oakland female cellmates sleeping on the cold, hard floor.

Until Wednesday last week,...

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The Shooting And The Response At Occupy Oakland

(105) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 6:15 AM

I was driving to San Francisco for a meeting when I got the reporter's call about the shooting last night at Occupy Oakland. He thought that I might be taking a shift at the Interfaith Tent, which is near where the gunshots happened, and that I could tell him what...

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The Obama Legacy at Occupy Oakland

(13) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 1:06 PM

Wednesday, I hopped on a city bus and headed to Frank Ogawa Plaza at Oakland city hall for a liberation Bible Study led by the Seminary of the Street whose motto is "Meet Us at the Corner of Love and Justice!"

I never made it to the Bible...

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How Do We Repair the Souls of Those Returning from Iraq?

(49) Comments | Posted October 26, 2011 | 11:31 AM

[Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini co-authored this piece. We led the team that organized the Truth Commission on Conscience in War and are members of the leadership team for "The Soul Repair Project."]

By year's end, 40,000 U.S. troops will return from Iraq and, according...

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The Ideological Roots of Christian Terrorism

(46) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Anders Behring Breivik borrowed Timothy McVeigh's strategy to blow up a public building, but he outdid McVeigh by gunning down dozens of young people at a camp after the explosion. Both were young white Christian men who wanted to provoke a cosmic war to save Christendom and rescue society...

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Dishonoring Mothers with the Sixth Commandment: We Need Reproductive Rights for Mother's Day

(33) Comments | Posted May 4, 2011 | 11:23 AM

When I was a feminist seminarian in the late 1970s, an older woman named Jessie attended a meeting of our Claremont, Calif., seminarians and wives group to enlist us in her cause for mothers. She was appalled that new apartment complexes could ban children and were clearly designed to discourage...

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