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Lent Book Club 2023: Unspeakable: Preaching & Trauma-Informed Theology

27 March @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm BST

This event is one of a series of five Lent book club sessions 2023 being offered by the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence this year, taking place on Zoom.

How might sermons contribute to resiliency and the repairing of wounds caused by traumatic experiences? With Sarah Travis and David Tombs

The Book

Unspeakable: Preaching and Trauma-Informed Theology

Unspeakable probes the relationship between trauma theory and Christian theology in order to support preachers in the task of crafting sermons that adequately respond to trauma in the pews and the world at large. How might sermons contribute to resiliency and the repairing of wounds caused by traumatic experiences? This book seeks to provide a theological lens for preachers who wonder how their ‘beautiful words’ can address suffering amid traumatic wounding. Preaching is a healing discourse that proclaims gospel, or good news. Gospel is a complicated reality, especially in the face of trauma. Drawing on various theologies and insights from trauma theory, Unspeakable challenges the notion of a triumphant gospel, seeking an in-between perspective that honors both resurrection and the trauma that remains despite our desire to get to the good news. It builds on images of the preacher as witness and midwife in order to develop homiletical practices that acknowledge the limitations of language and imagination experienced by traumatized individuals.

The Author

Sarah Travis is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and holds a Doctor of Theology in Preaching from Knox College, University of Toronto. She serves as the Minister of the Chapel at Knox College, the Interim Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Toronto School of Theology and teaches courses in the area of preaching and worship. Sarah is the author of Decolonizing Preaching: The Pulpit as Postcolonial Space, and Metamorphosis: Preaching after Christendom, as well as Preaching the Good News: A Handbook about Preaching for Presbyterians in Canada.

The Respondent

David Tombs is the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issuesa at University of Otago since January 2015. David is a lay Anglican theologian and has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies. He is author of Latin American Liberation Theologies (Brill, 2002). His current research focusses on religion, violence, and public theology, and especially on Christian responses to gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture.

Fee information

There is a suggested donation of £3 to the CSBV by choosing a ‘donation’ ticket on Eventbrite. If you’d like to give a different amount, please visit our Donate page. We appreciate all donations received to continue the work of the Centre.

£3 Suggested donation of £3 payable through Eventbrite
Lent Book Club 2023: Unspeakable: Preaching & Trauma-Informed Theology

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