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Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World 3rd Printing Edition
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"How do people, whose hearts and minds have been wounded by violence, come to feel and know the redemptive power of God's grace?" That is the central question and mission of Serene Jones's "Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World," a new book from Westminster John Knox Press.
The book is both a collection of stories of people who have endured and survived trauma, and an analysis of how they did it by the grace of God. It doesn't necessarily offer answers; it provides food for thought and introspection. Beginning with the story of Leah, a young girl that the author sponsored for membership in her church, Dr. Jones shares a tale of what we would least expect. "...as the pastor began talking about the night `before Jesus's death,' Leah's body grew rigid. Her nail-bitten fingers began to twist the folded order of worship paper in her lap her face assumed a frighteningly blank look, her fear was cold and palpable. When the pastor then invoked the words of Jesus, `this is my blood, poured out for you,' she slid out of the pew and left the sanctuary."
Leah later explained she had suffered a childhood of drugs, and sexual abuse, and hearing about death, blood, and body parts had made her feel out-of-control and numb. She could do nothing but escape the church. What had been offered as a soothing balm of hope, had actually been perceived as symbolically violent. She said she felt alone with the problem, that of PTSD (post-traumatic shock disorder), and that she would figure it out for herself. Jones responded, "no, it's not just your problem. It's our problem--my problem, the church's problem, God's problem. You don't need to be alone, and I hope we can work on it together. That's what faith communities do.Read more ›
The Rev. Clarke K. Oler
and then there is the betrayal of trust that may have
led up to the trauma and the betrayal of trust in how
others respond or fail to respond to the trauma...
This is called Moral Injury... Moral injury is the betrayal
of trust by those who are responsible for my safety and care.
It is the parent who knows.. but does nothing. The administrator
who minimizes and dismisses. The hospital who sends someone
away or has them waiting for months. It is the police officer who
hardens his heart and draws his own conclusions. It is the community
who will make a show of burying the dead.... and then turn their backs
on the survivors a couple of months later.
Trauma and Grace is really a companion text that draws us into the
mystery of Our Lord's Cross and Resurrection... into the passionate
prayers of the Anawim we sit beside on the bus. I paired it with the
topic of Military Sexual Trauma... You will find your own companion
text that describes for you the place of the wounding. Perhaps a drug
overdose or a prison sentence that is destroying a family or car accident
that left survivors who can not heal.
Both books are fiercely difficult to read! So allow lots of breathing room.
Leave them out where you can pick them up... read a little more and
then let it rest again. Don't rush the reading. Healing moral wounding
takes time and reflection to heal and to learn how to guard your heart
from having the wound reopened.
Peace and all good...
I loved her use of Calvin's use of the Psalms. Space did not permit her to give the back story on all of the traumatized refugees -- many of whom, most of whom -- were children that had been uprooted on account of religious persecution.
Such knowledge might better explain some of Calvin's barbs.
I would recommend this book for all lovers of Calvin, and all those who look for ways forward when horrific things have happened to someone you care for.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Deep thoughts, thick read, but really intriguing and has some gold to it.Published 5 months ago by R. Grace
It was ok and I learned somethig, but I am not sure of her assumtions.Published 5 months ago by Stephen B. Baumann
This is a wonder book. Anyone interested in a closer walk with God and who has suffered trauma in their lives need to read this book.Published 8 months ago by Hilda P. King
I was thrilled with the breadth and depth of this collection. Practical and pastoral and challenging all at the same time. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Claudia
Serene Jones is self-revealing even as she is teaching the reader about her own experience of God's grace. Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by Linda Dew-Hiersoux