When tragedy strikes a community, it is often unexpected with long-lasting effects on the people left in its wake. Too often, there aren't adequate systems in place to aid those affected in processing what has happened. This study uniquely combines practical theology, pastoral insight and scientific data to demonstrate how Christian congregations can be helped to be resilient in the face of sudden devastating events.
Beginning by identifying the characteristics of trauma in individuals and communities, this collection of essays from practitioners and academics locates sudden trauma-inducing tragedies as a problem in practical theology. A range of biblical and theological responses are presented, but contemporary scientific understanding is also included in order to challenge and stretch some of these traditional theological resources. The pastoral section of the book examines the ethics of response to tragedy, locating the role of the minister in relation to other helping agencies and exploring the all-too-topical issue of ministerial abuse.
Developing a nuanced rationale for good practical, pastoral, liturgical and theological responses to major traumas, this book will be of significant value to scholars of practical theology as well as practitioners counselling in and around church congregations.