Jeremy Begbie, “The Arts as Resource for Healing
Part of an interview series with Duke University Divinity School faculty looking at the hidden wounds of war and the Church’s resources that can help those in recovery.
Created for the After the Yellow Ribbon conference:
Veterans today commit suicide at the highest rate in our nation’s history, have startling rates of prescription drug and alcohol abuse, and are often thought of as “damaged goods.” Our society must accept the responsibility of acknowledging and confronting the moral fragmentation that our service members suffer as a result of their experiences in war. After the Yellow Ribbon at Duke Divinity School is an opportunity for the ecclesial, academic, and martial communities in particular to listen to and learn from those who endure the burden of doing violence in our name.
We invite practitioners of all disciplines, from music and the arts to theology and mental health, to respond to the challenge presented by the plight of soldiers and veterans in our midst. We want to work together to improve our efforts at prevention and reconstitution, and overcome this tragic epidemic. After the Yellow Ribbon is designed to stimulate conversation between the church, military and academic communities so that all might approach service members and veterans as human beings, and more fully understand and heal the unseen wounds of war (including PTSD and moral injury).
Text of “At a Calvary Near the Ancre” by Wilfred Owen:
One ever hangs where shelled roads part.
In this war He too lost a limb,
But His disciples hide apart;
And now the Soldiers bear with Him.
Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ’s denied
The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the state,
But they who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate