Religion and Trauma


Course Objective

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

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 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 three assignments (75%) and a final essay
(25%). The assignments include a reflective autobiography, an interview
with a trauma survivor, and an interview with a pastoral caregiver. The
final essay will focus on a specific phenomenon/traumatic experience in
relation to a specific theological/religious issue.


Michell Walsh (2017). Violent Trauma, Culture and Power: An
Interdisciplinary Exploration in Lived Religion. London etc.: 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: