Topic outline

  • General

    ME33PT Pastoral Theology, Trauma, Suffering and Healing

    Credits:30  Places: 12

    • Course Description

      This course looks at the universal reality of suffering. First suffering will be looked at from different perspectives, especially from pastoral theology and trauma studies. The lived experience of suffering is central, for example because of oppression, marginalisation, or illness. Various ways of responding to suffering will be explored, from a religious (mainly Christian) point of view. Responses from specific faith groups and theological approaches will be studied, for example Black theology, feminism, and disability studies. Finally, the possibility of healing and reconciliation will be considered. Throughout the course students learn to develop their own responses to suffering and trauma.

      • What skills will I gain?

        By the end of the course you will

        ·        gain an understanding of the complexity of suffering by being able to analyse case studies from different theological and social perspectives

        ·        earn to evaluate traditional and more recent religious and theological responses to suffering and trauma.

        ·        apply the rich and complex understandings of trauma and healing in the Christian tradition to specific situations of suffering

        ·        be able to develop your own pastoral responses to suffering and trauma


        • What will the timetable be like?

          ·        Weekly lectures

          ·        A 2 hr seminar each week, which will involve group discussions, responses to reading and research, and interactive activities

          • How will I be assessed?

            ·        2500 word essay – 50%

            ·        Approx. 3000 word (per student) group report – 40% (marks are given individually and not by group)

            ·        Presentation of group report – 10% (marks are given individually and not by group)

            • Anything else I should know?

              ·        You join the parent course in week 7 and have opportunity to study with theology/divinity students.

              ·        This course is for everyone, regardless of religious background/experience!

              • What did previous students think?

                Comments from Divinity students;

                ·        “Loved the content, how relevant it was, how important it was to learn and be able to pass on.”

                ·        “Seminars were a lot of fun, course content was incredibly interesting”

                ·        “The teachers evidently cared about our learning and wellbeing and were extremely supportive.”

                ·        “Really enjoyed the varied discussions each week and the freedom and encouragement to explore ideas.”

                ·        “The teaching and content was really really interesting and fun.”


                • Useful links

                  Staff profile,  Dr Katie Cross (Course coordinator):

                  Introductory course activities/links…(to give you an idea of what’s to come!)

                  ·        Podcast: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, “Trauma: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang (Book 4, Chapter 15)”:

                  ·        News article: Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan M.Shaw, “Intersectional Theology: A Prophetic Call for Change,” HuffPost (18.01.2019):

                  ·        Video: Yoga with Adriene, “10-minute yoga for self-care”: