Religion and Trauma


Course Objective

The aims of the course are that the student
• Can analyze how religion and traumatization interact, and how that
impacts individuals and communities.
• Can analyze positive and negative contributions of religion in coping
with trauma in individual life stories using coping and trauma theory.
• Can evaluate the theological/religious complexity of trauma and is
able to reflect hermeneutically on those complexities.
• Is able to communicate in a religiously/theologically adequate way on
the theme of religion and trauma.
• Is able to analyze and critically evaluate new contributions of
religion in coping with trauma and reflect on them and on the student's
own professional approaches in this field and to determine on which
elements further personal development of competencies is required.

Course Content

This course deals with different shapes of violence and trauma
(political, domestic, sexual, disaster) and the relation with religion.
We will address theories on traumatization and reflect on the age old
role of religion in coping with violence and trauma. We also discuss the
fundamental religious and theological question whether and how religion
can offer
answers to violence or is itself part of the problem.

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Grading will be based on a group presentation (25%) and a final essay
(75%). Group presentations are on trauma case studies that are chosen,
prepared and presented in groups of maximum 5 people. The final
(individual) essay will focus on a specific phenomenon/traumatic
experience in relation to a specific theological/religious issue.


Ganzevoort, R.R & Sremac, S. (eds). 2018. Trauma and Lived Religion:
Transcending the Ordinary. Palgrave Macmillan, 300 pp.
Various papers on Canvas, 100 pp.
Individual literature for essay, 300 pp.

Target Audience

This module is mandatory for Master's students of the subprogramme
Peace, Trauma & Religion. Other Master's students may follow it as

General Information

Course Code G_PTR4
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator dr. S. Sremac
Examiner dr. S. Sremac
Teaching Staff dr. S. Sremac
prof. dr. E.V. Tolstoj

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: