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Trauma in relationship – healing by religion: Restoring dignity and meaning after traumatic experiences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Trauma in relationship, often experienced as micro-trauma, may affect spirituality, because spirituality is lived as and in a relationship to God. If a relationship is traumatizing, it affects all the dimensions of the human being, and deprives a person of his/her dignity. As a result of trauma a person’s identity collapses, and the offender destroys the existence of his victim. Against this inner breakdown, basic acceptance by another can provide healing. Through pastoral care God’s promise “it is good that you exist” can be experienced concretely. As a result of a traumatic relationship, individuality is destroyed. In contrast to the malignant verdict of the offender, pastoral care can provide the experience that “it is good that you are just as you are”. The loss of relationships following infidelity can be healed by a faithful relationship. This is the third promise: “I will stay forever”. This triple promise confirms a person’s dignity; it is a promise that is finally, and in unbroken fidelity, given by God himself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrauma and Lived Religion
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
StateAccepted/In press - 2018
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