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Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World
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Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This substantive collection of essays by Serene Jones explores recent works in the field of trauma studies. Central to its overall theme is an investigation of the myriad ways both individual and collective violence affect one's capacity to remember, to act, and to love; how violence can challenge theological understandings of grace; and even how the traumatic experience o ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published 2009)
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Jan 28, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
A somewhat difficult read but well worth it - especially for anyone in ministry. The first book I've read that deals with how trauma can affect our ability to trust, especially trusting God and the Church. Serene Jones does an excellent job of bringing together trauma theory and theology. I appreciate her definition of sin including sin committed against us and how redemption imagery is vital for healing this as well.
"Expecting the world to be broken and expecting grace to come--it is the air o
Sep 05, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
I started reading this a few weeks ago to prepare for 9/11 worship. Jones recapitulates the sin-grace narrative through the lens of trauma. Jones writes brief essays exploring corporate trauma (9/11 and the Emmaus Road passage), through the cross, and then through individual trauma of a friend who was abused, reproductive loss, and her own journey. My favorite chapter was her chapter on Calvin's reading of the Psalms.
Scott Harris
Aug 02, 2011 Scott Harris rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent resource that explores the impact of theology and faith on the lives of people who have experienced trauma. Ultimately, the book is a collection of reworked sermons and papers that Jones has prepared over numerous years exploring the topic of trauma. Experientially, It is rooted in the experiences of those who have been traumatized whom Jones has pastorally supported in various ways over many years. It is informed by a health academic engagement with the psychological and cl ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Sadie rated it it was amazing
I love Serene Jones book and the theology she presents within it. I especially appreciate her chapter addressing reproductive loss. Beautifully written, a well thought out theology, a book that really speaks to me. This was a re-read of sorts as I've read selected chapters many many times, but it's a book I'll go back to many more times I would imagine.
Stephanie Berbec
In this book’s defense, I read it after finishing Precarious Life by Judith Butler. Which is to say, while these two books are not comparable in terms of agenda—they both write around the topics of trauma and violence, and what we do with that—I found Trauma and Grace to be a bit too surface level for my taste. I think I would have benefited from it more had I read it five years ago. I had to push myself to finish as I was mostly bored throughout the read, but I’m glad I did as the final chapter ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Aeisele rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
This is really a marvelous book because Jones takes on something that is prevalent but rarely spoken of in theology: the lived reality of trauma.

If you were to capture the entire book you could look at the last section of the last chapter, called "Mourning and Wonder." Throughout the book she points out how the Jesus' crucifixion is at once horrific - the image of a man mangled and broken as the central image of redemption - but also "alluring" (the title of chapter 4 is "The Alluring Cross"). T
Apr 19, 2015 Emmy rated it liked it
Shelves: school-reading
I read this for an Ethics class. If I read this at any other point in my life, I would not appreciate it as much as I do now. I'm luckily taking a Mental Health nursing class, which gives me great insight and appreciation into topics like PTSD and effects of abuse, war, and violence. There's so much to explore with this topic and people really need to be more open-minded about these issues.
Dee Michell
Aug 06, 2016 Dee Michell rated it liked it
Engaging with trauma studies is an important response when in a position of service to community, so I appreciated this aspect of the book. Not being a Christian however I struggled with the constant need to pull everything back into that one story. It seems limiting rather than expansive, and hopeful.
Mary Gail O'Dea
Aug 04, 2012 Mary Gail O'Dea rated it it was amazing
This is a very moving book by a feminist theologian who clearly gets the decimating long-lasting impacts of trauma and the failure of much mainstream religion to meet it or heal it adequately. Really a poignant read.
Elizabeth Turnage
Jan 22, 2015 Elizabeth Turnage rated it really liked it
Really good work. I didn't agree with everything she said, but I learned a lot, and it confirmed my sense that storytelling is an essential part of healing and growth.
Apr 26, 2016 Lynne rated it it was ok
Interesting and a needed contribution/background for those in pastoral care.
It seemed a bit academic and less about feelings. Felt cut off from that part.
Kate Davis
Such a helpful book! Each chapter points to an intersection between psychology and theology and offers a starting point that is so helpful for practical, lived theology.
Andrea Bergren
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Feb 22, 2013
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Sep 05, 2012
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May 05, 2014
Olivia rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2009
Carol rated it it was amazing
Mar 20, 2012
Kevin rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2013
Lee F.
Oct 02, 2011 Lee F. rated it liked it
Very close to home
Kelly Pattison
Kelly Pattison rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2014
Mark rated it it was ok
May 04, 2011
Tanya rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2015
Angela rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2012
Jessica rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2015
Samantha rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2015
Cresson rated it liked it
May 21, 2014
Jenny Wells
Jenny Wells rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2012
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A highly respected scholar and public intellectual, the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 180-year-old institution, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. She is also currently the President of the American Academy of Religion, which annually hosts the world’s lar ...more
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