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Transatlantic Perspectives on the Present and Future of Moral Injury

On 19-21 April 2023, around 50 academics, clinicians, chaplains and others gathered in Durham, UK, for a conference marking the launch of the International Centre for Moral Injury.

Around 30 people gathered around a sign saying

A gathering of academics, clinicians and chaplains

Two people in deep conversation in a conference hall

Two of our US colleagues discussing their programmes supporting people experiencing moral injury

A man speaking in front of a slide showing a line drawing of a person with knives sticking into them

Discussing the spiritual wounds of war

Two people in deep conversation in a conference hall

Interdisciplinary conversations: theology, arts and counselling 

A lady at a lectern with a microphone reading a poem

A session on tracking moral injury in healthcare settings and during the pandemic

Two people sitting across a table looking up from a conversation to smile at the camera

Bringing together researchers investigating moral injury in human rights defenders and moral injury in social workers

A lady at a lectern with a microphone speaking to an unseen audience

ICMI steering group member Revd Wendy Cooper

A man talking in front of a slide showing a photo of people gathered round in concentric circles

Discussing group intervention for moral injury and shared responsibility for moral pain

Two people in deep conversation in a conference hall

Interdisciplinary conversations: medical anthropology and military chaplaincy

A man in a suit at a lectern with a microphone

The ICMI's Executive Director Brian Powers bringing the conference to a close

People sitting at tables clapping and smiling

Wrapping up

The conference sessions and some resources relating to these are listed below.


Moral Injury and Resentment/Forgiveness

Responding to Moral Injuries: The Meaning and Place of Resentment
Prof. Anthony Bash (Durham University, UK)

The Role of Forgiveness in the Treatment of Moral Injury: Three Case Studies
Tom Quinn (counsellor, US)

Limits and Possibilities of Forgiveness of Moral Injury by Survivors of Childhood Incest
Jennifer Loop (Durham University, UK)


Tracking Moral Injury in the Pandemic and in Healthcare Settings

These Walls Are Witnesses
A poem about working in healthcare, by Kate Fox-Robinson (St John's College, Durham)
Read the poem on Kate's website

Development and Validation of the Health-Care Moral Injury Scale
Dr Kathryn Fradley (Edge Hill University, UK), Prof. Fuschia Sirois (Durham University, UK) et al.

Understanding Covid-19 as a Potentially Morally Injurious Event
Dr Adam Brown, Ms Julia Superka (New School for Social Research, US) et al.

Moral Injury in the (Toxic) UK Public Sector
Dr Mark Erickson (University of Brighton, UK), Dr Paul Hanna (independent researcher) and Dr Carl Walker (University of Brighton)
Slides. The studies in this presentation are also reported in the following two journal articles:

If you have any trouble accessing the journal articles, please email the corresponding authors.


Moral Injury and Moral Formation/Deformation

Investigating the Moral Challenges Experienced by UK Service Police Veterans
Shannon Allen, Prof. Gavin Oxburgh and Prof. Matt Kiernan (Northumbria University Newcastle, UK)
Read this paper

The Consequences of Militaries as Moral Agents
Dr Caroline Micklewright, Dr David Jackson and Dr Sarah Bulmer (University of Exeter, UK), and Prof. Bryan Watters (Cranfield University, UK)
Caroline talked about moral injury in veterans revealed by the Military Afterlives Project among other research.
Bryan Watters' part of this paper is based on Leadership in the ‘Wicked’ Problem of Bosnia’s civil war: A case study examining ethical decision making under duress.

Why Science and Humanities Must Be Considered Together, Across Populations, to Fully Define Moral Injury
Janine Geddis (Queen's University Belfast, UK)


Expressions of Moral Injury: Art and Meme

Moral Injury and Memes
Ansley Avis (Great Philosophical Problems, a thinktank on moral injury, based in Australia and the US)

On the Relationship Between the Novel and Moral Injury
Dr Katherine Voyles (US Army Graduate School for Chaplain Professional Development)

Arts, Moral Injury and Post-traumatic Growth: Stories from the Field
Alison O'Connor (counsellor and co-founder of Re-Live, an arts and health charity working with veterans and others in Cardiff, UK)
Some of Alison's work is described in The restorative power of circles: A pilot intervention for Moral Injury in health and social care.


Pastorally Responding to Moral Injury

Sharing Responsibility for Military Moral Injury
Revd Dr Chris Antal (Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center, US)

Military Moral Injury in a Societal Context: Conceptualization and Group Intervention
Dr Peter Yeomans and Revd Dr Christopher Antal (Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center, US)

Some of this work of the Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center is described in the paper A communal intervention for military moral injury.

Before Moral Injury: Developing Resilience through Affective Domain Growth
Revd Dr Nathan White (US Army Institute for Religious Leadership)


Conceiving of Moral Injury in Theology and Philosophy

Jewish Aspects on Moral Injury: What Are Some of the Key Issues?
Rabbi Moshe Ariel Abel (HM Forces Reserves, UK)

Zarathustra in Afghanistan (3): A Madman’s Vision, A Veteran's Definition, and a Philosopher's Riddle (10)
Dr Timothy Shaw (Great Philosophical Problems, a thinktank on moral injury, Australia)

Conscience Ambushed? Moral Injury and the Moral Conscience
Fr David Smith (Birmingham City University, UK)


Experiences and Reflections of Moral Injury

What a First World War Chaplain Can Teach Us on the Experience and Treatment of Moral Injury
Revd Dr Dayne Nix (US Naval War College)

'The Conscience of the World Cries Out For The Truth': Moral Injury and the Unveiling of the Katyn Memorial at Gunnersbury Cemetery, 1976
Jennifer Grant (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Tele-Intimate Killing as Morally Hard Labour: Augmenting Military Ethics for Operators of Armed Drones
Prof. Christian Enemark (University of Southampton, UK)
This paper is drawn from the open-access e-book Moralities of Drone Violence.

Notes from the Frontline: A Tried, Tested and Adjusted Pathway Home
Revd (Colonel) Antony Feltham-White OBE QHC (Royal Army Chaplains' Department, UK)


Keynote Lectures  

Moral Injury and the Importance of Maintaining the Interdisciplinary Conversations and Conventions
Revd Dr Brian Powers (Durham University)

Moral Injury at the Strategic Level of War and Policy: Agency in Causes and Reactions
Chaplain (Colonel) Timothy Mallard PhD (US Army War College)



A reflection by Dr Rita Nakashima Brock (Shay Moral Injury Center, Volunteers of America)