The Moral Injury and Recovery in Religion, Society, and Culture Unit engages interdisciplinary study on moral injury, an emerging concept which attempts to engage the impact of making difficult moral choices under extreme conditions, experiencing morally anguishing events or duties, witnessing immoral acts, or behaving in ways that profoundly challenge moral conscience and identity and the values that support them. In examining how understandings of recovery from moral injury might illuminate post-conflict situations in many areas of the world, this unit will interrogate how educating a wider public about moral injury might challenge the role of religion in supporting war and the militarization of international and intra-national conflicts, the effects of war on combatants in post-conflict societies, and more effective means for social support in recovery from moral injury. Contributions are welcome engaging: • Diverse religious, cultural, and social systems and their sacred texts • Neuroscientific approaches to ritual, moral formation, and the moral emotions • Proposed methods for recovery, such as ritual, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, arts, community life, narrative, and interreligious cooperation • The roles of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, race, and other forms of oppression in relation to personal agency and theories of ethics.
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Moral Injury and Recovery in Religion, Society, and Culture Unit
Call for Proposals
This Unit encourages individual paper, paper session, and roundtable proposals that engage with the concepts and literature of “moral injury.”
For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, we are also especially interested in paper and/or panel proposals on:
- Ritual, moral injury, and healing.
- The ongoing war in Ukraine.
- The role of moral injury and genocide.
- A discussion of a particular work in moral injury or work that could be read along with moral injury literature.
We are also interested in your thoughts and ideas beyond the above list. Contributions are always welcome that engage:
- Diverse religious, cultural, and social systems and their sacred texts
- Neuroscientific approaches to ritual, moral formation, and the moral emotions
- Proposed methods for recovery, such as ritual, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, arts, community life, narrative, and interreligious cooperation
- The roles of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, race, and other forms of oppression in relation to personal agency and theories of ethics.
Again, although we are open to all proposals, we encourage potential submitters to think about and responding to the following aspects of moral injury:
- The history of moral injury research and theory has assumed that moral injury occurs largely to sympathetic features with a bias toward U.S. and European figures. How can this assumption be challenged? How would our ideas of moral injury change as a result?
- In a war like Ukraine, it has been noted that European and North American policy makers and publics seem more open to caring for the displaced from the Ukraine war than other wars or conflicts outside of Europe. The refugee crisis from Syria is a case in point. When discussing moral injury and war, how can we take account of such critiques to challenge and improve approaches to and framings of moral injury?
- There is a strong ethical aspect to moral injury, as highlighted in its being a moral What are the moral tensions and ambiguities in moral injury literature and cases? Agency is very important in discussions of moral injury. How does agency fit into certain understandings of moral injury? How do specific cases bring issues of moral injury into concrete relief? How are our ethical assumptions challenged?
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Lily An Kim, McMaster University1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Nigel Hatton, University of California, Merced1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Samira I. Ibrahim, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Leenah Safi, Chicago Theological Seminary1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027