The Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, a nationally known scholar on the power of Christian ministry to veterans as they return from war, will deliver the Jennie Cutler Shumate Lecture on Christian Ministry at University of Lynchburg on March 23.
Her talk, titled “The Role of Religion in Understanding Recovery from Moral Injury after War and Police Violence,” will help ministers, congregation members, and the families of veterans to assist in healing the spiritual and emotional wounds of battle. The lecture will be held in Snidow Chapel at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Brock, a theology professor at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, is an internationally recognized expert on the emerging study of moral injury—which manifests itself in guilt, self-doubt and moral conflicts in the wake of events such as war—and recovery from moral injury. In 2012, she co-founded the Soul Repair Center, which conducts research and educates the public on moral injury.
In addition to the lecture at University of Lynchburg, Brock will deliver two other public lectures in Lynchburg:
- At 4 p.m. on March 22, Brock will deliver the Turner-Warren Lecture at First Christian Church. She will address the topic of “The Invisible Soul Wounds of Violence and the Importance of Congregations in Recovery.”
- On March 24, Brock will present “Pathway to Hope: Moral Injury and Recovery” at 10:30 a.m. in the First Colony Conference Room 2, Centra Lynchburg General Hospital. Attendees must register by e-mailing .
Brock is a research professor of theology and culture and founding co-director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School. She is a commissioned minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served in a number of prominent denominational leadership positions. She is the co-author of Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, which was a finalist for an American Academy of Religion Award in reflective, constructive theological studies; Publisher’s Weekly selected it as a best book in religion in 2008.
A native of Fukuoka, Japan, Brock earned her Ph.D. in philosophy of religion and theology in 1988 from Claremont Graduate University. She was a professor of religion and women‘s studies for two decades before becoming Director of the Bunting Institute, which is now a part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
From 2001-2002, she was a Fellow at the Center for Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School. From 2004 to 2012, she co-founded and directed Faith Voices for the Common Good, which generated online and in-person networked social change projects for progressive faith leaders and organizations and which helped organize the Truth Commission on Conscience in War.