A theological treatment of war, trauma, and the fundamental character of human existence
In Full Darkness theologian and wartime veteran Brian Powers argues that the Augustinian concept of original sin can illuminate the nature of wartime violence, particularly through the lens of veteran trauma. He shows precisely how sin and war both cause human identity, agency, and hope to be lost.
Powers explores sin as a pathogenic disfigurement that shapes cultural values and ethical ideas, frequently resulting in moral injury. Combat veterans experience a humanity deprived of grace and are devoured by the forces of war, often suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. But Powers provides a ray of hope and a path towards healing.
Ideal for veterans, chaplains, and pastors, Full Darkness offers a new perspective on the cultural understanding of military violence, provides theological help for those drowning in guilt and shame, and paves the way for reclaiming positive human agency and identity.
Brian S. Powers holds a PhD from Emory University in theological studies with a concentration in religion, conflict, and peacebuilding. He is the inaugural Bernard William Vann Fellow for the Study of Christianity and the Military at Durham University in the UK.
Martha Moore-Keish —Columbia Theological Seminary “All of us who live in this world plagued by human violence and unending war, and all who care about the redemption of real, wounded human beings, need this book.”
Craig Dykstra —Duke Divinity School “Extraordinary! Full Darkness is essential reading, certainly for theologians and ethicists, but perhaps more importantly for our nation’s political and military leaders, for thoughtful citizens and religious leaders, and for healers and caregivers who seek by God’s grace and mercy to help bind the wounds from which, because of our blind capacity for destructive violence, we all suffer.”
Ian A. McFarland —Cambridge University “Full Darkness is a book about many things, from nationalism and violence to sin and guilt. But it is at bottom a profound reflection on the redemptive power of the gospel—and how we all too often thwart it.”
Zachary Moon —author of Coming Home: Ministry That Matters with Veterans and Military Families “Brian Powers speaks with a sincere clarity that demands our attention.”
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