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Bible, Trauma, and Growth

This unit will explore the intersection between biblical studies and trauma studies. The literature and direction of biblical studies in this area will be surveyed. The unit will include a consideration of historical contexts of the Bible’s composition during times of trauma. The study will investigate themes of war, peace, violence, conflict resolution, and the effect of imperial policies, in the Ancient Near Eastern world, the Greco-Roman empire and today. The unit will explore social scientific, psychological, and literary contributions to biblical studies in the area of trauma and survival.  

Offered: Refer to Timetable

Undergraduate: Level 2 and 3
Postgraduate: Level 9 Elective

Discipline: BS Biblical Studies 

BA1/8001S Introducing the Hebrew Bible or BN1/8001S Interpreting the New Testament

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an awareness of current scholarship connecting biblical studies and trauma/ post-traumatic growth studies. 
2. Describe situations and categories of trauma and aspects of responses to trauma. 
3. Explore the intersection of biblical studies and trauma studies, including literary, social-scientific, psychological and historical approaches to the biblical text and issues of trauma.  
4. Articulate the relevance of biblical texts to contemporary situations of trauma 
5. (Level 3) Demonstrate exegetical skills in the study of biblical texts relating to themes of trauma and growth.
6. (Postgraduate) Critically evaluate the relevance of biblical texts to contemporary situations of trauma.
7. (Postgraduate) Engage in critical exegetical study of biblical texts integrating contemporary methods of understanding issues of trauma and growth. 



Literature Survey (1000 words) 20%
Case Study (1500 words) 30%
Essay (Level 2: 2000 words, Level 3: 2500 words) 50%


Literature Survey (2000 words) 20%
Case Study (2500 words) 30%
Essay (3500 words) 50%

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Becker, E.M., J. Dochhorn, and E. Holt. Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights From Biblical Studies and BeyondStudia Aarhusiana NeotestamenticaIsd, 2014. 

 Boase, Elizabeth, and Christopher G. Frechette, eds. Bible Through the Lens of Trauma. Semeia Studies. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016. 

 Carr, David M. Holy Resilience: The Bible’s Traumatic Origins. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 2014. 

 Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1996. 

 Jones, Serene. Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. 

 Kelle, Brad E., Frank Ritchel Ames, and Jacob L Wright. Eds. Interpreting Exile: Displacement and deportation in biblical and modern contextsAtlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011. 

 Linafelt, Tod. Surviving Lamentations: Catastrophe, Lament, and Protest in the Afterlife of a Biblical Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. 

 Rambo, Shelly. Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 2010. 

 Smith-Christopher, Daniel L. A Biblical Theology of Exile. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Pr, 2002. 

 Sweeney, Marvin A. Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.