Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Trauma and Transformation at Ground Zero: A Pastoral Theology

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Trauma and Transformation at Ground Zero: A Pastoral Theology

Article excerpt

Trauma and Transformation at Ground Zero: A Pastoral Theology. By Storm Swain. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-8006-9805-8. x and 193 pages. Paper. $27.00; Kindle edition $17.59. (not available on Nook)

Trauma and Transformation at Ground Zero escorts readers to the top of the "Pile," that nine-story high mountain of concrete, steel, and glass that was all that remained of the World Trade Center after the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11. From this vantage point, author Swain, an Episcopal priest, pastoral psychotherapist, and seminary professor, guides the reader on a remarkable, sacred journey, moving deftly through the pain and suffering of unspeakable loss to a place of transformation and healing.

Taking her cue from interviews with chaplains who served at the Temporary Mortuary (T. Mort.) near the site of the devastating attacks in New York City, Swain develops a trinitarian pastoral theology that reflects the image of God, realized in its outworking through human relationships. She expertly interweaves Augustinian theology, psychoanalytical theory, and contemporary pastoral practice to produce a cohesive pastoral theology that is true to classic doctrine, yet responsive to the complexity of the human context.

The most striking feature of the book is the sensitive manner with which Swain handles the sacred stories reflected in the experiences of the T. …

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