Armies know all about killing. It is what they do, and ours does it more effectively than most. We are painfully coming to realize, however, that we are also especially good at killing our own ""from the inside out,"" silently, invisibly. In every major war since Korea, more of our veterans have taken their lives than have lost them in combat. The latest research, rooted in veteran testimony, reveals that the most severe and intractable PTSD--fraught with shame, despair, and suicide--stems from ""moral injury."" But how can there be rampant moral injury in what our military, our government, our churches, and most everyone else call just wars? At the root of our incomprehension lies just war theory--developed, expanded, and updated across the centuries to accommodate the evolution of warfare, its weaponry, its scale, and its victims. Any serious critique of war, as well any true attempt to understand the profound, invisible wounds it inflicts, will be undermined from the outset by the unthinking and all-but-universal acceptance of just war doctrine. Killing from the Inside Out radically questions that theory, examines its legacy, and challenges us to look beyond it, beyond just war. Endorsements for the cover: ""Elegantly written and easily accessible to lay readers--his prose unburdened by any military jargon or acronym-soup--Killing From the Inside Out is an ideal read for anyone curious about American adventurism abroad, the future of civil-military relations, and the human--and moral--toll of war."" --Lionel Beehner, founding editor of Cicero Magazine and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City, NY ""Meagher has written the essential rebuttal to Just War theory. This book should be read by scholars, warriors, clergy, politicians, and anyone caring for those suffering from moral injury related to military service."" --Kimberly P. May, MD, Col (retired), USAF and the Veterans Administration, Leeds, MA ""Bob Meagher's seminal and timely work, with its reach from antiquity to today, shows that there never was a just war that would leave its participants unscarred."" --Rev. Michael Lapsley, director, the Institute for Healing Memories, Cape Town, South Africa ""I found this book gripping, illuminating, and prophetic. In a so-called civilized world, where we continue to accept all too easily the killing of innocents in war, and the sometimes devastating long-term impact on those young people we send into battle to kill on our behalf, it is utterly timely."" --Rev. Ruth Scott, BBC broadcaster, international mediator, London, UK ""Meagher combines his own practical wisdom from many years of working with combat veterans with decades of high quality scholarship. As a reflective practitioner, I strongly recommend this book to anyone truly interested in transforming the human cost of war."" --Wilhelm Verwoerd, international peace and reconciliation worker, Beyond Walls, Cape Town Area, South Africa ""Another fundamental truth this bold, beautifully written, and erudite work powerfully conveys is the following: war kills not only those it buries in the ground; it just as surely kills those souls who march home, heads held high while the music plays and their loved ones cheer, yet feeling inside they are forever lost."" --Lieutenant Colonel Douglas A. Pryer, US Army Intelligence, the Pentagon, USA ""Killing wounds the soul. But what if it's a 'just war?' Meagher argues convincingly that to put the adjective 'just' in front of the word 'war' is self-deception."" --Jim Forest, co-founder, the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, South Bend, IN ""This is a thoughtful, timely, and needed book. . . . Read this book. Then ponder it. Then act on it. It just might save a soul--your soul."" --Thomas C. Fox, publisher of the National Catholic Reporter For front matter: ""For more than 10 years I have been working with former combatants in different parts of the world, grappling with the profound human cost of th
Robert Emmet Meagher is Professor of Humanities, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. His publications include numerous books, translations, and original plays, most recently Herakles Gone Mad: Rethinking Heroism in an Age of Endless War and Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War. Across many years he has served in a range of veteran-focused programs aimed at understanding and healing war's inner wounds, and since 2010 has led a VA literature seminar.
Jonathan Shay is a Boston-area psychiatrist whose patients are Vietnam combat veterans with severe, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder in the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic. He is also on the faculty of Tufts Medical School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Stanley Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law at Duke University. Among his many books are Resident Aliens, A Community of Character, Living Gently in a Violent World, and A Cross-Shattered Church.