Toward an Anthropology of Peace

XXII International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality
Bose, Wednesday 3 - Saturday 6 September 2014
in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches

Ingresso di Geserusalemme Icona fine XVI sec Museo di Lhabavsk


Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University

In the Orthodox and Catholic traditions, an anthropology of peace is defined, quite simply, as theosis, deification, or as I prefer, divine—human communion. Such an understanding of peace as theosis, however, can be easily misunderstood as acquiring Zeus-like powers that allow one to transcend and transform the disruptions caused by our finitude. Even among Orthodox Christians, theosis is often domesticated to the monk who has soothsaying or healing powers, again giving the impression that the embodiment of the divine presence is manifested only in some form of super-human powers.

If we recall, however, the primary naming of God by Christians as love—one thing that all Christians share—then theosis itself must be seen as loving as God loves; seeing all of creation, including the most seemingly unlovable, as God sees creation. This is the great challenge of the greatest commandment—to love God with all of one’s mind, heart and soul, and to love neighbor as one’s self. When understood in terms of the greatest commandment, theosis becomes more mundane, ironically more worldly, more evident in the boring, day-to-day activities of life. The greatest commandment, however, is a paradox: we are commanded to love when love itself cannot be initiated by the will. One surely cannot will oneself to love someone that one hates but only notice that one does not love as one should.

14 09 03 CEISO 14 05The great ascetics of the Orthodox and Catholic traditions understood the paradoxical nature of this commandment; they knew that one could not simply will oneself to love as one wills oneself not to steal or to lie. As much as love involves the will, love itself is also affective—it involves our emotions and desires. In this sense, love encompasses the human person in her wholeness—body and soul. What these great ascetics also understood is that love is a learning that requires a training that shapes our emotions and desires, and by so doing, increases the capacity of the will to love. The training involves understanding the obstacles to love—what gets in the way of our loving as God loves.

One of the obstacles to love that the ascetics identified is pride. The ascetics understood well that because of our finitude, humans are plagued by the disruptions of fear. We are, indeed, afraid of death, but this fear of death masks another fear that I believe is more basic and is what grounds our pride—this is the fear of not mattering in the world. Metropolitan John Zizioulas puts this much more elegantly as the longing for uniqueness and particularity. Our fear of not mattering in the world causes us to assert ourselves in a god-like fashion. What appears as a self-love—pride—really is a form of self-loathing that this apparent self-love attempts to mask. And because of this self-loathing as self-love, we seek to destroy or negate anyone or anything that threatens our identity, threatens whatever we feel helps us to feel that we matter. This attempt to destroy or negate the other that threatens our mattering occurs on a one-to-one basis against parent, child, friend, but most especially the stranger and the enemy. We also see it at the group level—the Orthodox themselves have been notorious at this negative self-identification against the other, most especially the so-called “West,” the latest form of which is the attempt to negate or destroy the so-called godless, anti-religious, liberal West against the traditional conservative values of the Orthodox. The ascetics knew well that these forms of buttressing the self as forms of self-loathing masked as self-love are rooted in feelings of fear, which ultimately lead to anger. The feeling of anger needs an object, and the object of anger is usually never what one is angry about; indeed, anger leads to objectification, which makes it easier to treat the other as an object, no different than a rock, easy to destroy with the hammer of unwarranted projections. One can see this especially in social media, when one projects onto a simple message all sorts of meanings that are used to justify hateful or slanderous speech, or when bullies feel empowered to hurt someone they wouldn’t normally confront if they were right in front of them. The challenge then for learning how to love is learning how to cultivate our emotions, desires and, thus, the will in such a way that we notice that we are less fearful and angry toward our parents, children, siblings, friend, and, even more provocatively, the stranger and the enemy.

There are, however, other conditions in life that make love difficult, that evoke feelings of fear and anger but are not necessarily driven by self-loathing as self-love. One such condition is violence. Violence that happens to us or that we commit disrupts an anthropology of peace in that it makes love difficult. I will illustrate how violence has this effect by looking at three particular cases of violence, two of which are related to war and one of which is related to conditions of poverty. I will first, however, further elaborate on the anthropology of peace in terms of the virtues by discussing St. Maximus the Confessor’s understanding of the ascetical life as a learning how to love. After describing particular conditions of violence, I will then conclude with how St. Maximus’s understanding of the virtues can both illuminate and help us think of restoring an anthropology of peace as the increased capacity to love as God loves in and through the experience of violence.

The Peace of Virtue

In the writings of St. Maximus the Confessor, communion with God, which is an embodied presencing of the divine, is simultaneous with the acquisition of virtue: Virtue is embodied theosis, ordeification. As St. Maximus himself says in his second letter, which is addressed to John: “And the divine and blessed love, which is fashioned from these and through which these come to be (by “these” he means the virtues), will embrace God and manifest the one who loves God to be God himself.”i In his ascetical writings in particular, St. Maximus discusses a trajectory of the manifestation of virtues through ascetical practices toward the manifestation of the virtue of virtues—Love. For St. Maximus, the human is created to learn how to love, and is in constant battle against that which weakens the capacity to love.

Virtue, for St. Maximus, is not a building of character for character’s sake; it is not a state of being where one displays one’s virtues like badges of honor; it is not simply the basis for proper moral decision making within a particular context. The acquisition of virtue is the precondition for enabling the human capacity to love. As St. Maximus says in his Four-Hundred Chapters on Love, “All the virtues assist the mind in the pursuit of divine love.”ii St. Maximus does not restrict himself to only the four cardinal virtues but, consistent with the Eastern Christian patristic tradition, gives a wider catalogue of virtues and vices that correspond to the three parts of the soul: sensible, irascible and the rational. The hermeneutical key to St. Maximus’s complicated detailing of the relation of virtues and vices to the inner life of the human person and to human agency is “progress in the love of God,”iii which is measured ultimately by how one relates to others, especially those to whom one feels hatred or anger.iv As St. Maximus explains, “The one who sees a trace of hatred in his own heart through any fault at all toward any person whoever he may be makes himself completely foreign to the love for God, because love for God in no way admits of hatred.”v

If virtues are embodied deification, the precondition for the learning of the virtue of virtues, which is love, then vice impairs the capacity for love. St. Maximus explains that “[t]he purpose of divine Providence is to unify by an upright faith and spiritual love those who have been separated in diverse ways by vice.”vi Writing primarily to monks, he elaborates that the “vice that separates you from your brother” includes “envying and being envied, hurting or being hurt, insulting or being insulted, and suspicious thoughts.”vii St. Maximus is also astute to know that vice breeds vice; i.e., that it is not simply the doing of vice that harms the capacity for love, it is being “viced upon”: “The things which destroy love are these: dishonor, damage, slander (either against faith or against conduct), beatings, blows, and so forth, whether these happen to oneself or to one’s relatives or friends.”viii Vices produce and are such affective emotions as anger, hatred, and fear. Throughout his writings, St. Maximus is attempting both to advise and exhort a form of training that can overcome what are ultimately corrosive emotions, no matter how justified.

Also relevant is St. Maximus’s discussion of the relation of images to the cultivation of vices and virtues. According to St. Maximus, what often incites and reifies a vice are images or thoughts that present themselves to the human person. St. Maximus explains that “Love and self-mastery keep the mind detached from things and from their representations . . . The whole war . . . against demons is to separate the passions from the representations.”ix St. Maximus also warns that when “insulted by someone or offended in any matter, then beware of angry thoughts, lest by distress they sever you from charity and place you in the region of hatred.”x In terms of images that incite vice, this resistance is not a removal of the image, but a disabling of its power to evoke such feelings of anger or hatred. To be virtuous is to experience in the face of images the emotions and desires that cultivate authentic relationships.

Insofar as virtue is related to love, then virtues build relationships of intimacy, trust, compassion, empathy, friendship, sharing, caring, humility, and honesty: all that is apparently threatened by the experience of vice, which destroy relationships. According to St. Maximus, the acquisition of virtue is a training realized in and through certain practices that forms both the body and the inner life (the soul) of the human person; virtue is a wiring of the self as openness to love.

The Disruption of Violence

In the next part of my presentation, I want to suggest that St. Maximus’s understanding of virtue is especially relevant to illuminating the human experience of violence by focusing on the experience of war and poverty

It is very common in the United States now to hear of stories of combat soldiers from the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is very disturbing to hear the stories of combat veterans, which include: not sleeping with their spouses for fear that a nightmare may lead them to physically harm their spouse; not being able to sleep in the middle of the night because of hyper-vigilance; not wanting to be outdoors for fear that a sound, such as a bird chirping or water running, may trigger combat mode; not being able to enter public spaces, such as grocery stores or elevators; having dreams of mutilating one’s children; alienating friends and families; not being able to hold a job, or even get a job for fear of public spaces. Many of them end up homeless on the American streets with 13% of the homeless population in the US being veterans, and 20% of the male homeless population being veterans. They are plagued by demonic images and memories of the war. The high rate of the experience of PTSD symptoms among Vietnam veterans demonstrates that the effects of war linger in the body long after a soldier’s tour of duty. According to Jonathan Shay, one of the pioneers in the United States in treating combat veterans suffering from PTSD, this lingering is in the form of “(a) hostile or mistrustful attitude toward the world; (b) social withdrawal; (c) feelings of emptiness or hopelessness; (d) a chronic feeling of being ‘on the edge,’ as if constantly threatened; (e) estrangement.”xi There are many, many stories and statistics that I could give here, but I will restrict myself to the story told on the public radio program, “This American Life,” of the combat veteran John, who was fighting with his fiancé about bus schedules. The argument escalated to the point where John became enraged and went into what is clinically called a “Berserk state.”xii He took a knife and cut his fiancé many times. After he awoke in the hospital, he could not remember what he did, and the first thing he asked was, “did I kill my daughter”? He did not kill his daughter.xiii This and many such similar stories reveal that there is an ascetics to war: either through the training received in the military, or through the practices that one performs in the midst of war to train the body for survival against constant threat of violence, war is the undoing of virtue in the sense that impacts negatively a combat veteran’s capacity for relationship with family, friends and strangers.xiv

In addition to PTSD, a new category is emerging in order to distinguish a certain state of being that is effected by the combat veteran’s participation in war and that is no longer thought to be identical with PTSD, even if many of the symptoms are similar. This state of being is being called “moral injury,” which is distinguished from PTSD in the sense of not being induced through a fear response.xv Moral injury refers to a state of being in which the combat veteran experiences a deep sense of having violated his own core moral beliefs. It may occur as a result of killing either combatants or non-combatants, torturing prisoners, abusing dead bodies or failing to prevent such acts; it may also ensue even if there was no way for the combat veteran to avoid doing such acts. In the experience of moral injury, combat veterans may judge themselves to be worthless, unable to live with an act he or she committed that is a never erasable act. Symptoms are similar to those as PTSD, such as isolation, mistrust of others, depression, addiction, emotional detachment, and negative self-judgments. There are countless stories that I’ve heard of combat veterans who admit that they are afraid to speak of all that they did in combat situations for fear that the one to whom they speak will deem him or her unlovable. In a recent New Yorker article entitled “The Return,” one of the veterans from the Iraq War is quoted as saying: “I don’t want to tell her stuff [the her being his wife] . . . I don’t want her to know that her husband, the person she married, has nightmares about killing people. It just makes me feel like a monster . . . That she’ll hate me . . . What kind of person has dreams like that?”xvi St. Maximus often speaks of how self-love is the biggest obstacle to progressing in leaning how to love. In the case of moral injury, it is not self-love as much as self-loathing without any mask of pride that is the obstacle.

The effects of violence on the human is also clearly visible in the poor neighborhoods in the big cities of the United States (and I imagine throughout the world) where the threat of violence is constant. One teenager who lived in a poor neighborhood of Chicago, which is infested with violent gangs, described his neighborhood as a daily war zone.xvii Related to this, one of the most difficult questions confronting educators in the United States is how to educate children in poorer neighborhoods, who are consistently underperforming in comparison with children in more middle-class or affluent neighborhoods.

As an example, Paul Tough has recently authored the book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, in which he reports on approaches to this problem that focus on character, such as the recent work and studies of the Nobel-Prize economist from the University of Chicago, James Heckman, who recently published The Myth of Achievement Tests: The GED and the Role of Character in American Life.xviii Tough describes how educators for decades were focusing on improving what are called “cognitive skills,” which have to do with such things as reading and mathematics. Studies have shown that the skills correlated with success in such things as college graduation, or well-paying job are what are called “non-cognitive skills.”xix It is the development of non-cognitive skills that allow for the development of cognitive skills. According to Heckman, the types of cognitive and character skills that are “crucial to success in economic and social life . . . include perserverance (‘grit’) . . . trust, attentiveness, self-esteem and self-efficacy, resiience to adversity, openness to experience, emphathy, humility, tolerance of diverse opinions, and the ability to engage productively in society.xxHeckman also lists self-control, which would include impulse control, anger management, delayed gratification, or thinking before making a bad decision— what Robert Merrihew Adams calls the structural virtues,xxi and which remind us of St. Maximus’s list of virtues.

What they have also discovered is that the stress from adverse experiences in childhood, such as the experience of violence or the threat of violence, can prevent non-cognitive skills from developing properly. Tough reports on findings that indicate that 51 percent of children who have experienced four or more adverse effects are identified as having learning or behavioral problems.xxii Trauma, in particular, can interfere with healthy brain development, decision making, memory and the type of sequential thinking needed to work through problems.xxiii If a child is experiencing the constant threat of violence in the home, the stress that such a threat generates can prevent the development of the part of the brain responsible for non-cognitive skills. Another way it was explained is this: if one is in the forest and is confronted by a bear, then the part of the brain responsible for aggression will activate and that part of the brain responsible for non-cognitive skills will deactivate in order for the person to prepare for an emergency response. In my opinion, this puts in a new light the story of St. Seraphim of Sarov’s eating with the bears in the forest. Such an emergency response, however, is meant to be infrequent. For some children living in a family home situation in which the threat of violence is constant, the brain responds as if facing a bear every single day. If the emergency response of the brain is activated repeatedly, the brain forms pathways that get increasingly ingrained. In day-to-day situations, this means that it is difficult for such children to learn reading and mathematics in class when the brain is constantly on emergency response mode. It is not uncommon for such children to have behavioral problems in school that often manifest themselves in rage. Janine Hron, who is the C.E.O. of the Crittenton Children’s Center, which developed the Head Start Trauma Smart in the United States, amplies that point: “Kids who have had significant chronic adversity become hypervigilant . . . Their emotions overwhelm them. They have difficulty sleeping, difficulty tracking in class, they act out, and then they get kicked out of school. The numbers of people who are experiencing these traumas are really epidemic.”xxiv Being surrounded by or experiencing violence can actually form the brain in such a way as to form such vices of fear and anger (again, not necessarily self-love as much as self-loathing), two of the vices that St. Maximus says get in the way of love. These vices, among others, are impairing the ability to be in the kind of relationships that would not simply allow for love to occur, but the kind of relationality that would allow for learning to occur. What is really remarkable about all this, at least for me, is the connection between all that these studies are showing with all that St. Maximus says about the interrelation between the manifestation of the virtues and what he refers to as contemplation.

Toward an Anthropology of Peace

If we follow St. Maximus the Confessor, then an anthropology of peace is an anthropology that affirms the human capacity for communion with God. The movement toward such a communion with God—theosis—is identical to the human learning how to love, to see the other as God sees him or, even the stranger and the enemy. Such a learning how to love occurs through the acquisition of the virtues, which are manifested through ascetical practices. It could very well be argued that the violent disruptions that occur throughout human history are rooted in the disruptions of the human person caused most especially by the vices of fear, anger, and hatred. Such fear and anger is often the result of violence caused by someone, done to someone, or done to someone or some group to which one feels attached. From birth, so many are taught to fear, be angry toward and hate some other that has been the source at some point of history of some kind of violence. In a vicious circle of fear, anger and hatred, one’s identity becomes grounded and solidified against those who caused violence against his or her people. As but one example among many, it has been almost 800 years since the Fourth Crusade, and yet it is not uncommon for Orthodox to be nurtured on this story.

St. Maximus’s account of an anthropology of peace in terms of the virtues illuminates how violence may cause, as Jonathan Shay puts it, a “loss of character,” in the sense of making love difficult. It becomes difficult in the face of the enemy who has caused violence against one’s person or people; but, it also become difficult for the soldier who is experiencing PTSD or moral injury, or the one living in poverty who is constantly facing the threat of violence or constantly experience violence, insofar as such experiences of violence in war and poverty make relationality difficult. The soldier shuns the restaurant and bar; the poor person lashes out against family, friends and teachers.

Although St. Maximus’s account of the virtues may illuminate the effects of violence on the human person in terms of impacting their capacity for love, and thus, for theosis, it might seem that the ascetical practices that St. Maximus recommends might have little to offer in terms of confronting the effects of such violence. That, however, would not be correct.

For example, in response to the problem of the effects of violence on learning, the Head Start Trauma Smart program has students engage in such practices as breathing exercises to help regulate anger and enable learning, even issuing breathing stars as rewards, realizing that traditional disciplinary methods based on fear, such as timeouts, are ineffective. The program also engages in training in the community surrounding children who have adverse experiences, such as the bus drivers and cafeteria workers, in order to develop a network of appropriate response to the child; in other words, the training in the virtue extends beyond the child with the focus especially on discernment. Using the Achenbach system as an assessment tool, the 2013 “Head Start Trauma Outcome Report” indicates that children who receive therapy show an improved diagnosis on emotional reactivity, anxiety, somatic complaints, withdrawal, sleep deprivation, attention aggressiveness, stress, and oppositional defiant behavior.xxv

What was also interesting about the studies reported in Paul Tough’s book is that it is being shown how proper attachment to a parent or parents can help a child manage the stress of adverse situations.xxvi In other words, the development of proper relations through the virtues can counter the vices formed through the experience or threat of violence. What’s most hopeful is that these non-cognitive skills can be learned even throughout adulthood; in other words, the human was created in such a way that these non-cognitive skills can be learned no matter what the age of a person.

Although there are many practices that enable the acquisition of virtue, and thus, the capacity for relationships of trust, intimacy, depth and love, I will restrict my focus to one that is key to any redoing of virtue in both the psychological and the ascetical/mystical literature—the practice of truth-telling or confession. Both Jonathan Shay and Judith Herman in their experience with trauma victims attest to the basic truth that healing cannot occur until the trauma victim can begin to speak about the traumatic events. Truth-telling in and of itself is not sufficient for healing, but it is absolutely necessary. Also, truth-telling of trauma cannot begin until a safe and secure environment is established for the trauma victim, what Herman refers to as stage one of recovery.xxvii To even speak the truth about the trauma of war can be interpreted as an embodiment of the virtue of humility, in the sense that making oneself vulnerable is requisite to opening the self to loving and being loved. The sixth-century Syriac Christian ascetic, Dorotheos of Gaza, analogizes the Christian life to building a house, “[t]he roof is charity, which is the completion of virtue as the roof completes the house. After the roof comes the crowning of the dwelling place . . .[i.e. railings around the flat roof] . . . The crown is humility. For that is the crown and guardian of all virtues. As each virtue needs humility for its acquisition—and in that sense we said each stone is laid with the mortar of humility—so also the perfection of all the virtues is humility.”xxviii

The reconstruction of the narrative must also be in the context of other persons, in the form of a community. Shay argues that the “healing of trauma depends upon the communalization of the trauma—being able to safely to tell the story to someone who is listening and who can be trusted to retell it truthfully to others in the community.”xxix The mitigation of the demonic, thus, depends on truth, even if such a truth has to do with the experience of the demonic; and this truth needs to be “communalized” told and listened to by others. Over the years, Shay has discovered that such communalization is most effective when the community itself consists of those who know, either directly or indirectly, the effects of combat trauma. Much like Alcoholics Anonymous, the healing power of truth-telling depends not simply on telling the truth, but on who is The rebound effect of truth-telling depends on the symbolic/iconic significance of the one listening. I want to be clear that in recommending the ascetical practice of truth-telling, I am not presenting a formula—speak the truth and be healed. Given that, we should with full confidence affirm that just as God’s revelatory Word of truth spoken in Jesus makes possible a new relation of intimacy between the uncreated and the created, the ascetical practice of truth-telling has the power to form new pathways for relations of intimacy and trust, even for those who have experienced violence and suffer from PTSD.

Truth-telling would be especially important for the cultivation of forgiveness, which itself is a manifestation of the virtue of love, but in and through harm or wrongdoing, often in the form of violence. It has been shown that for those suffering from moral injury, talking about or being exposed to what afflicts him or her, though necessary, is not effective in the way that it can be for those suffering from PTSD. It is clear that those who are afflicted with the disruption of moral injury are attempting in some form to move toward self-forgiveness. In the case of moral injury, and in many other examples of violence and wrongdoing, forgiveness is revealed not as a contract—I simply state my sin and God is obliged to forgive; nor can it be willed; nor is it a forgetting of the wrongdoing or violence. Forgiveness is a state of being that reacts differently to the memory of the wrongdoing or violence. One does not will forgiveness; one becomes forgiveness, and this becoming forgiveness is a relationality that does not forget, negate or even move beyond the wrong done, but exists in the midst of and as a result of such a wrong. More powerfully, forgiveness leads to an intimacy in and through the violence or wrongdoing committed, that would normally be considered unimaginable.

Whatever love becomes after the experience of violence, it does not leave that experience behind. In the redoing of the undoing of virtue caused by violence, the human learning to love is not a forgetting or erasure of the violence experienced; it is not even a moving beyond the experience of violence; it is always a moving in, through, and with that experience of violence, especially since whatever shape love takes will have something do to with the violence experienced. As the Anglican theologian, Marilyn McCord Adams, so eloquently states: “To defeat horror-participation within the individual created person’s life, God must weave it into the fabric of that individual’s intimate . . . beatific personal relationship with God.”xxxi

The Christian hope to which I am pointing affirms that the disruption of violence does not make love impossible; but whatever love is it cannot cancel what has been done. The violence affirmed as part of one’s own narrative is eternally constitutive of that narrative, even if one’s narrative is not reduced to that experience of violence. Evil or violence is not necessary for love, but love is not necessarily a negation of the experience of evil or violence. It moves in, through and with such contrary experiences as it doesn’t allow our individual stories and the story of creation to be reduced to such experiences. Love as forgiveness does not point to a border “beyond” contrary experiences, such as violence, but to a “more than” in some sense constituted by but not reducible to such experiences. This point is important in the face of those who might claim that in light of the fact that loss and, hence, mourning are constitutive of the self, of our identity, that there is and can be no such thing as love. An anthropology of peace as love as forgiveness as virtue is hard work; love is learned; but, for Christians, it should be a learning driven by the hope that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Roman 8:38-39)

i Epistle 2, in Maximus the Confessor, trans. Andrew Louth (New York: Routledge, 1996): 87.

ii Four-Hundred Chapters on Love, in Maximus the Confessor: Selected Writings, trans. George C. Berthold (Paulist Press, 1985), 36 (1.11).

iii Ibid., 48 (2.14).

iv Ibid., 42 (1.71).

v Ibid., 37 (1.15).

vi Ibid., 77 (4.17).

vii Ibid., (4.18-19).

viii Ibd., 84 (4.81).

ix Ibid., 66 (3.39, 3.41).

x Ibid., 38 (1.29).

xi Jonathan Shay, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (New York: Scribner, 1994): 169. See also, Shay, Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (New York: Scribner, 2002). On trauma, see also, Judith Herman’s classic, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror (New York: Basic, 1992).

xii For a definition of the “Berserk state,” see Shay, Achilles in Vietnam, 80. In a brilliant analysis of the Iliad, Shay demonstrates how Achilles went berserk after the death of his friend, Patroklos.

xiv For the ascetics of war, see Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (New York: Little, Brown and Company); Rachel M. MacNair, Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing (Westport, CT): Praeger, 2002).

xv On moral injury, see Brent T. Litz, et. al., “Moral Injury and Moral Repair in War Veterans: A Preliminary Model and Intervention Strategy,” Clinical Psychology Review 29 (2009): 695-706; Shira Maguen, et. al., “The Impact of Reported Direct and Indirect Killing on Mental Health Symptoms in Iraq War Veterans,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 23 (2010): 86-90; Shira Maguen, et. al., Killing in Combat, Mental Health Symptoms, and Suicidal Ideation in Iraq War Veterans,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 25 (2011): 563-67; Kent Drescher, et. al., “An Exploration of the Viability and Usefulness of the Construct of Moral Injury in War Veterans.” Traumatology 17:1 (2011): 8-13; For theological accounts, see Warren Kinghorn, “Combat Trauma and Moral Fragmentation: A Theological Account of Moral Injury,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 32:2 (2012): 57-74; Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini, Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2012).

xvi David Finkel, “The Return: The traumatized veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan,” The New Yorker, 9 September 2013, 36.

xvii Leland Jones and Lloyd Newman, Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago (Scribner, 1998), 170.

xviii James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries and Tim Kautz, eds., The Myth of Achievement Tests: The GED and the Role of Character in American Life (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014).

xix Ibid., 341. Also, Paul Tough, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), xix, 148-75.

xx Ibid., 342.

xxi Robert Merrihew Adams, A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 37.

xxii Tough, How Children Succeed, 1-48, esp. 17. See also, Nadine J. Burke, et. al., “The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on an Urban Pediatric Population,” Child Abuse and Neglect, 35:6 (June 2011): 408-13. Also, “The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study,”, last accessed 15 May 2014.

xxiii “Teaching Children to Calm Themselves,” The New York Times, 20 March 2014. Last accessed 6 May 2014

xxiv Ibid. See also Susan P. Walker, et. al., “Inequality in early childhood: risk and protective factors for early child development,” The Lancet 378 (9799): 1325-1338, esp. 1331; and, Susan P. Walker et. al., “Child development: risk factors for adverse outcomes in developing countries,” The Lancet 369 (9556): 145-57, esp. 152.

xxv Ibid. For full results, see the 2013 “Head Start Trauma Start Report,” Last accessed 7 April 2014.

xxvi Tough, How Children Succeed, 31-48.

xxvii Jonathan Shay, Odysseus in America, 168; Shay is drawing off of Herman’s Trauma and Recovery (New York: Basic Books, 1992) .

xxviii Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings, trans. Eric P. Wheeler (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1977), 203. Earlier, Dorotheos identifies humility as the mortar of the house of the soul, “which is composed from the earth and lies under the feet of all. Any virtue existing without humility is no virtue at all” (203).

xxix Ibid., 4.

xxx On truth-telling in Alcoholic Anonymous, see Papanikolaou, Aristotle Papanikolaou, “Liberating Eros: Confession and Desire.”

xxxi Adams, Christ and the Horrors, 47.