The Books from the Project

An edited volume, ‘Tragedy and Congregations: a Practical Theology of Trauma’ was published by Routledge in November 2019, edited by Megan Warner, Carla Grosch-Miller, Hilary Ison and Christopher Southgate.

The book carries a foreword by the Rt Revd James Jones KBE, former Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of the Hillsborough Enquiry.

The book has received the following commednations:

Often we assume that recognising and dealing with trauma is primarily an issue for psychology. Psychology is important, but it is not the only voice that can speak powerfully into this deeply troubling human experience. In this excellent collection of essays, the voice of practical theology and biblical studies is given entry into the complexities of trauma. The result is a powerful, interdisciplinary perspective that offers both understanding and healing. This book makes an important contribution to the conversation.

Professor John Swinton, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen.

 ‘This is a timely, challenging and profoundly hopeful book: for all those who want to go deeper in understanding the impact of trauma and how we hold those individuals and communities at times when the world seems to have fallen apart. It is an extraordinary work of deep pastoral theology which makes a significant contribution to the church’s practice and understanding, and points us towards hope even as it discusses the most hopeless situations we may face.’

The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

“This book is the outcome of sincere, critical, and inspiring conversations about the depth of human suffering on the one hand and of spiritual reflection on the other. I had the privilege of participating in one of these conversations and these pages reflect the authors’ wise and gentle mixture of critical theology, victim advocacy, and pastoral and liturgical advice. A rich resource for every congregation encountering tragedies, in other words: for every congregation, period.”

Professor R. Ruard Ganzevoort, Professor of Practical Theology, Free University, Amsterdam.

The book was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral, London in the presence of the Bishop of London, and with an address by the Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Our second book, Trauma and Pastoral Care: A ministry handbook, was published by Canterbury Press in July 2021. Written during the Covid pandemic and in conversation with it, Trauma and Pastoral Care provides basic information about how individual and collective trauma impacts people and communities and what the journey of recovery looks like.

Part One: The Traumatised Individual examines the physical and mental impact of trauma, and offers a rapid response pastoral toolkit for large impact events and guidance on appropriate continuing care for the individual.

Part Two: Collective Trauma offers pastoral and liturgical strategies for trauma that affects a whole congregation or community and offers ‘habits of the heart’ that build resilience. It explores the faith and biblical resources available for pastoral care and the creation of helpful worship.

Part Three: The Changing Story of Life and Faith reflects on the importance of memory and meaning-making, engaging with challenging theological questions that arise to allow deeper, more nuanced understandings of God to emerge.

A useful range of appendences includes practical resources for pastoral care, pointers to psychological recovery and examples of liturgies written in response to tragedy and trauma.

The Afterword ,’Living in the Anthropocene – Resilience and Adaptability’, reflects on living in a time of unrelenting challenge and change and what hope looks like in our time.