Moral Injury: Examining War’s Deepest Wound and Darkest Contradiction 4/24/14

rom antiquity to the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, just war doctrine has provided decisive moral justification for the waging of war. The doctrine is intended to limit war, yet oftentimes it has served to unleash it and, at the same time, deeply confused and complicated the moral injury of combatants. This panel will feature four speakers (three are veterans, two clergy) exploring the fundamentals of moral injury and just war, asking important questions that seldom are addressed. How can there be moral injury in just war? Is it moral, under any circumstances, to sanction killing? Is there any such thing as just war? How are armed services personnel in war zones coping with perceived contradictions in just war doctrine? What are the potential connections between moral injury and the high number of military suicides? What roles are religious institutions, military chaplains, and civilian clergy playing (and not playing) in resolving these contradictions and healing the spiritual wounds and moral injuries of war? How can these institutions do better?

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