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Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World 3rd Printing Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0664234102
ISBN-10: 0664234100
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Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World + A General Theory of Love + The Healing Path: How the Hurts in Your Past Can Lead You to a More Abundant Life
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Serene Jones is President of Union Theological Seminary in New York. Prior to joining Union, she served as Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School for seventeen years. She is the author of several books, including Calvin and Rhetoric: Christian Doctrine and the Art of Eloquence and Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, both published by WJK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 3rd Printing edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664234100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664234102
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By conscious customer on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
(from [...])

"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.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Clarke Oler on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Serene Jones' book brings trauma into the center of the psychological and spiritual drama of everyone's daily life. As president of one of the oldest and most respected protestant theological seminaries, she opens up her own faith struggle with rare honesty and describes the unconscious consequences of emotional traumatic experiences. This book is a "must read" for both clergy and lay persons wherever they are on their spiritual journeys.

The Rev. Clarke K. Oler
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Innocent Bystander on June 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is the actual trauma... it is the stuff of PTSD
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...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Orban on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
being a survivor of abuse I highly recommend this book!It takes you deep into your own story to help you be able to look at things and deal with them in a healthy way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, if you have ever heard Serene Jones speak, it is a treat. She has the ability to write well and speak well, and.... when I read this book, I heard it in her voice... it is very consistent with who she is.
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.
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By Autumn J Bosch on September 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Serene's style of writing is very intellectual and from a feminist theologian's perspective. I enjoyed thinking through her points on caring for those in the church who have lived through traumatic events.
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