Issue 25: Trauma

In this issue of The Other Journal, we present interviews, art work, creative writing, and essays that address the complex territory of trauma’s effects on the lived experience, for both individuals and societies. We believe these pieces articulate a deep, multifaceted understanding of how a theology of trauma can help to shape and restore us through unearthing, naming, narrating, and bearing witness to its wounds, for as Frank Seeburger writes, “Only such a community of trauma—the community of all those who have nothing in common save the openness of their wounds—could be the kingdom of a God worth worshipping.”

Marina Hofman

Retelling Hagar’s Story: Reading Trauma in Genesis 16

My husband and I were in a head-on vehicle collision north of Toronto on Highway 69 at a combined speed of about 125 miles per hour. We survived what was a fatal crash for the driver who hit us, but I was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, suffered a brain injury, experienced significant physical injuries, […]

Brian Bantum

The Third Day

A young girl tries to escape a grief-stricken home only to find that home is where her she is known most fully.

Whitney Williams


A woman wrestles with how post-traumatic stress disorder affects her daily life and faith.

Margaret Trim

God’s Child: A New Imagination in Trauma Healing

Childhood trauma severely limits one’s imagination of the self and the world, causing victims to define themselves by their past experiences. Central to the healing process is a restructuring of one’s imagination of self and the world. In her book Trauma and Recovery, the psychiatrist Judith Herman describes hope as the final stage of recovery […]

Karen V. Guth

Practicing Politics: A Review of Kingdom Politics

In their collaborative search for “a new political imagination for today’s church,” Kingdom Politics authors Kristopher Norris and Sam Speers put into practice their own form of ecclesial witness.

kingdom politics
Shea Tuttle

Words I Couldn’t Say

I. Breast, n. either of the pair of mammary glands extending from the front of the chest in pubescent and adult human females and some other mammals the seat of emotion and thought[1]   When my breasts started to develop in early puberty, I thought I had cancer. On a family visit to my grandparents’ […]

Isaac S. Villegas

An Apocalyptic Climate

The roaring seas of the apocalypse are displacing millions of global refugees.

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell

Shoshana’s Song

She rode out to sea at the wheel of the rented boat, her hair wild in the wind.

Billy Kluttz

Queers in the Borderlands: Rahab, Queer Imagination, and Survival

The story of Rahab begins early in the Joshua narrative. As the Israelites prepare to cross the Jordan River, they launch their conquest on Canaan by sending spies west. Two spies stay with Rahab in Jericho and she protects them from capture by hiding them on her roof and deceiving the Jericho authorities. Rahab later […]

Jennifer Graves

God Gave Birth

In the beginning, God gave birth, and it was really hard.

Chelle Stearns, Shelly Rambo

The Spirit’s Witness: An Interview with Shelly Rambo

Christian theologies of suffering often move too quickly to redemption, but in this interview with Shelly Rambo, she advocates a theology that remains in the ambiguous middle space between life and death, bearing witness to how trauma lingers in human experience.

Rebecca Welper


A poem about the life/death/life cycle of the seasons and those we love.

Georgiana Eliot

A Story of Stars and Violence

A story of a student waking up to the genocidal conquest that founded her country and the contemporary reenactments of this violence.

George T. Anderson

Trauma and the Technology of Participation

As technological advance sells users on increasing personal power and protection from trauma, Christians must consider the idolatrous potential of buying in.

Brigid Andrews

Naming the Animals

Brigid Andrews writes about the trauma of birthing and postpartum depression.

Libby Swope Wiersema


The poet Libby Swope Wiersema writes on grief and healing.

David K. Wheeler

Some Holy Ghost

Several pieces displayed in an art museum exhume the challenging past that led one young poet to a renewed sense of faith.

Frank Seeburger

The Trauma of God

The trauma of God is both God in trauma (i.e., God on the cross) and God as trauma (i.e., God as the cross), crossing one another to place God sous rature (i.e., under the cross), where God becomes no more and no less than a word—but the only word bespeaking a truly universal human community.