Pandemic as Moral Injury: How Do We React to Global Suffering?
More than 250,000 Americans dead. Millions ill. Record unemployment rates. A divisive election. Violence and protests. Gross inequalities exposed.
The tragic headlines in 2020 feel relentless. As people of faith, what should our reaction be? What toll do these stories of inequality and pain take on our souls?
Moral injury is most often associated with war, but 2020’s injury to our conscience and values will likely be felt for years. Join our panelists as they discuss the burdens of anger, hopelessness, guilt, and futility this year has brought and how to meet those feelings with hope, action, and healing.
LINKS & RESOURCES
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, VANDERBILT DIVINITY SCHOOL
Sophia Agtarap serves as the Director of Communications of Vanderbilt Divinity School. Prior to joining the VDS staff, she worked at the University of Washington and, most recently, The United Methodist Church's Communications Agency (UMCOM) as the first Minister of Online Engagement. Her graduate studies include Communication and Digital Media (University of Washington) and Theology (Seattle Pacific Seminary). A transplant from Seattle, via Southern California and Iowa, she lives with her spouse, toddler, and three dogs. She enjoys food and travel, and even more so when they are done in tandem.
Sophia is a deaconess in The United Methodist Church--a lay order whose call is to engage the world through a full-time vocation in ministries of love, justice, and service. She provides leadership for Moral Movement Tennessee and The United Methodist Women; she frequently consults with organizations regarding the Intercultural Development Inventory and their social and digital presence.
Rev. Dr. Brad E. Kelle
PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMENT AND HEBREW, POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
The Rev. Dr. Brad E. Kelle is Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Emory University, a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology (at Emory University), and a B.A. in Religion from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Prior to coming to Point Loma in 2004, his professional background included an academic post at Colorado Christian University, and eight years of church ministry in the Church of the Nazarene, in which he is an ordained elder. Kelle has authored or edited more than a dozen books and numerous scholarly articles. His publishing endeavors alternate between pieces written for the Academy and those written for the Church and other general audiences. His work focuses on trauma, moral injury, violence, and biblical interpretation, with special emphasis on the Old Testament prophets and Israelite History.
His most recent book is The Bible and Moral Injury: Reading Scripture alongside War’s Unseen Wounds. Kelle also serves as the regional coordinator for the Society of Biblical Literature Pacific Coast Region and the Old Testament editor for the journal Currents in Biblical Research. His most recent work involves the book of Hosea, with a forthcoming commentary on Hosea in the Old Testament Library series from Westminster John Knox. He lives with his wife and son (near the beach!) in San Diego.
Pádraig Ó Tuama
POET AND THEOLOGIAN
Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centers around themes of language, power, conflict, and religion. Working fluently on the page and in public, he is a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. Ó Tuama presents Poetry Unbound with On Being Studios and in late 2019 was named Theologian in Residence for On Being, innovating in bringing art and theology into public and civic life. From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community.
Ó Tuama has been a featured guest on On Being with Krista Tippett twice, and is a regular broadcaster on radio on topics such as poetry, religion in the public square, loneliness, conflict and faith, LGBT inclusion, the dangers of so-called Reparative Therapy, and the value of the arts in public life. He has broadcasted, recited, and been interviewed countless times on RTÉ, BBC (Radio 4, Radios Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland) and Radio National (Australia). Together with his partner, Paul Doran, he co-founded Tenx9, a storytelling event where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their lives. Begun in Belfast, this event now has satellite events in many other cities.
He holds a Bachelor of Divinity from the Pontifical College of Maynooth, a Master of Theology from Queen’s University Belfast, and is currently engaged in a PhD in Theology through Creative Practice from the University of Glasgow. In addition to these qualifications, Ó Tuama has numerous professional accreditations in conflict, focusing particularly on dynamics of group conflicts.
OTHER WEBINARS IN THIS SERIES
The Effects of Prolonged Stress:
Taking Care of Yourself
More adults are reporting anxiety and depression than ever before. Our panelists of pastors and healthcare professionals will discuss the different mental concerns this year has caused and ways we can build resiliency to help ourselves and to help others as we face a continued unknown future.
Relationships in a Pandemic: Building Resiliency During Unique Challenges
When we hurt, the people around us are affected. With the additional pressures of 2020, many relationships are under duress or even in crisis. Our panelists will discuss the unique stressors of this year and their effect on our families, friends, neighbors, and churches.
Helping the Helpers
This year has been uniquely hard on caregivers, paid and unpaid, as many of their support networks have changed in the face of a pandemic. Compassion fatigue is at an all-time high. Join our panelists as they encourage caregivers and inspire churches with ways to better help the helpers.
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