2019 Theology & Trauma Conference: Rachael Clinton

Earlier this summer, Rachael Clinton, Director of Organizational Development at The Allender Center, traveled to St. Andrews to participate as a plenary speaker in the Theology & Trauma Conference. This year’s conference bore the title Christ and Trauma: Doing Theology East of Eden. Featuring speakers Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology at The Seattle School, Elaine Storkey, and Preston Hill, the conference sought to address questions such as: “What is the intersection between the story of Jesus and our stories of trauma?”

Watch Dr. Chelle Stearn’s talk, “A Trauma-Informed Christology—Telling the Old Story Anew” here.

Rachael explores the intersection of theology and trauma, how the Church can create a more holistic, nuanced framework for healing, and the hope we have for transformation in Christ.

  • “As a church, as a people of God, if our only response is cognitive, our only imagination for healing is talk therapy, which I believe in, I think we miss opportunities to invite people to a more holistic healing. We don’t need to be afraid of the ways the body needs healing as a support.”
  • “Theology is an endeavor of the imagination. We are imagining the world as it should be and trying to find finding ways to understand what is at play—who God is, who we are in the story of God, and to bring about the reality that has entered but isn’t full yet.”
  • “Trauma in some ways is not linear. Life after trauma is not linear. Can we have imagination that sometimes in one moment we are experiencing God, the Son who is resurrected and yet is familiar with hell and has known torture and death, and the Spirit who envelops and intercedes and groans, that we can experience the triune God in one moment that can hold those things on our behalf ?”
  • “You will be transformed, like Jesus, into new life, and your wounds will likely be present. And it will be from those places that Jesus will make himself most known.”