This unit will explore the intersection between biblical studies and trauma studies. The literature and direction of biblical studies in this area will be surveyed. The unit will include a consideration of historical contexts of the Bible’s composition during times of trauma. The study will investigate themes of war, peace, violence, conflict resolution and the effect of imperial policies, in the Ancient Near Eastern world, the Greco-Roman empire and today. The unit will explore social scientific, psychological and literary contributions to biblical studies in the area of trauma and survival.

Unit code: BS3002S

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an awareness of current scholarship connecting biblical studies and trauma/ post-traumatic growth studies.


Describe situations and categories of trauma and aspects of responses to trauma.


Explore the intersection of biblical studies and trauma studies, including literary, social-scientific, psychological and historical approaches to the biblical text and issues of trauma.


Articulate the relevance of biblical texts to contemporary situations of trauma


Demonstrate exegetical skills in the study of biblical texts relating to themes of trauma and growth.

Unit sequence

A unit in Biblical Studies.


This unit will utilise audio-visual material, case studies, lectures, readings and group work with input from specialists in the fields of biblical studies and trauma.

Indicative Bibliography

Alexander, Jeffrey et al. Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Becker, E.M., J. Dochhorn, and E. Holt. Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights From Biblical Studies and Beyond. Studia Aarhusiana Neotestamentica. Isd, 2014.

* Boase, Elizabeth, and Christopher G. Frechette, eds. Bible Through the Lens of Trauma. Semeia Studies. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016.

Carr, David M. Holy Resilience: The Bible’s Traumatic Origins. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 2014.

Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

Jones, Serene. Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

Kelle, Brad E., Frank Ritchel Ames, and Jacob L Wright. Eds. Interpreting exile: Displacement and deportation in biblical and modern contexts. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.

Linafelt, Tod. Surviving Lamentations: Catastrophe, Lament, and Protest in the Afterlife of a Biblical Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Rambo, Shelly. Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 2010.

Smith-Christopher, Daniel L. A Biblical Theology of Exile. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Pr, 2002.

Sweeney, Marvin A. Reading the Hebrew Bible After the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Literature Survey

Literature Survey 1000 words

1000 20.0
Case Study

Case Study 1500 words

1500 30.0

Essay 2500 words

2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 2 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-02 13:43:05 +1000