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Revd Dr Brian Powers

Assistant Professor (Research) Vann Fellow in Christianity and the Armed Forces


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Assistant Professor (Research) Vann Fellow in Christianity and the Armed Forces in the Department of Theology and Religion105, Dun Cow Cottage 


I am a former officer in the U.S. Air Force and a veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and a graduate of Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. As such, I am interested in the ways that Christian theology shapes and also fails to shape our thinking about contemporary moral, ecclesial and political issues – most notably, those involving the experience of violence and moral injury, identity and justice. My recent monograph from William B. Eerdmans press is a constructive work entitled Full Darkness: A Original Sin, Moral Injury and Wartime Violence. The book contends that a modified Augustinian conception of original sin holds deep explanatory power to illuminate the nature of wartime violence, particularly through the lens of veteran trauma. I have presented papers on the resonances between Augustinian doctrines of sin and moral injury at the national gatherings of religious and anthropological scholars and have published an article in Theology Today arguing for the applicability of Augustine’s moral psychology in situations of moral trauma brought on by wartime violence. I am particularly interested in the contributions that Christian theology can offer to situations of moral ambiguity. In addition to leading modules in Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, I have taught broader courses in comparative World Religions. I am also an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Ph.D, Theological Studies, Emory University, 2016

Th.M, Columbia Theological Seminary, 2011

M.Div, Columbia Theological Seminary, 2010

B.S., Meteorology, North Carolina State University 


Authored book

  • Powers, Brian S. (2019). Full Darkness: Original Sin, Moral Injury, and Wartime Violence. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Journal Article