Moral Injury: A Case Study in the Intersection of Religion and Violence
This chapter examines the experience of moral injury as a specific intersection between religion and violence in a military context. It conceptualizes moral injury as a form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that usually arises as a result of violence done to others (sometimes an enemy, but at other times fellow soldiers or noncombatants). More importantly, the chapter posits that moral injury in itself can be considered a form of violence. It explores several examples of moral injury in a military context and the various ways in which religion is bound up with this particular form of violence. In doing so, the chapter considers the varied and complex ways in which religion relates to violence in general, including the possibilities of offering healing to those suffering from moral injury. Moral injury, as a distinct form of PTSD, is an expression of a distinct form of violence experienced in the military resulting in moral, religious, and ethical wounds.