Forming Trauma-Safe Churches (Scott Harrower and Joshua Cockayne)

We hear the word “trauma” a lot today—but what does it really mean? For Christians who have experienced horrific, overwhelming, life-threatening events events, the church can be a place either of fear or of healing. In this episode, Scott Harrower and Joshua Cockayne discuss their new book Dawn of Sunday: The Trinity and Trauma-Safe Churches (written with Preston Hill). They examine attitudes and practices that help us recognize, accept, and respond to traumatized individuals within the church. As the church becomes a community of help and safety, and as its members grow in Christlikeness, it can become a haven for the traumatized and vulnerable.

Scott Harrower is a Lecturer in Christian Thought at Ridley College and an ordained Anglican minister. He writes on the history of early Christianity and philosophical issues such as the problem of evil. Joshua Cockayne is a Divinity Honorary Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews. His research focuses on spirituality and ecclesiology, and he works in the area of analytic theology.

Show notes:

  • 0:00 Distinguishing trauma from other kinds of pain or distress
  • 3:20 Commonplace horrors and their effects
  • 5:35 Writing Dawn of Sunday
  • 8:26 Seeing and responding to grief
  • 11:38 Responsible practices for dealing with trauma
  • 14:49 Making church a safe place
  • 20:21 Symptoms of trauma
  • 26:00 The church as a community of help
  • 31:03 Aiding those who are experiencing ongoing trauma

Show notes by Micah Long

Image created by Rubner Durais

Did you enjoy this podcast episode? Check out articles from The Biblical Mind.

Credits for the music TBM podcast: