Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)

First Advisor

Jordan Copeland, La Salle University

Second Advisor

Francis Berna, La Salle University

Third Advisor

Anthony Smith, La Salle University


During the latter part of the last decade, mental health professionals working with war veterans began to realize that some of their patients were dealing with something more than complex PTSD. Awareness of a type of wound known as moral injury came from observations in the field of PTSD in war veterans and active duty personnel. In five chapters this dissertation approaches moral injury by drawing on the stories of the Christian tradition.

The first chapter tells the story of moral injury. This chapter discusses guilt, shame, suicide, and responses to moral injury. Next, it discusses the issue of identity, Chapter 2: The Story of Self. This chapter approaches the topic of killing by considering how the military trains soldiers, how Hollywood tells the story of killing in combat, and how new technologies present challenges to a soldier’s identity. Chapter 3: The Story of Evil and Suffering discusses the problem of evil, moral failure, and virtue Chapter 4: The Story of Redemption, uses the sixteen panels of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica. The author suggests that one may view the panels that form four rows thematically. The last chapter tells the story of healing. It presents a retreat program, “Warrior’s Path Home.”