Research Repository

University Crest

Numinous Physiology: A Theological Reflection on Angels, Trauma and Spirituality

Turner, Christopher (2017) Numinous Physiology: A Theological Reflection on Angels, Trauma and Spirituality. Practical Theology, 10 (4). pp. 337-350. ISSN 1756-0748

[img] Text (Numinous Physiology)

Download (111kB)


In conversation with trauma specialist Bessel van der Kolk, this paper poses three questions for a theology of spiritual care. What does current thinking in trauma studies say about trauma and the human person? What does current thinking about trauma mean for the way we understand spirit and spirituality? What does this mean for the way spiritual care practitioners offer spiritual care to people living with trauma related disorders? Taking seriously the advances in neuroscience that Van der Kolk applies to trauma studies, the paper proposes that spiritual care must understand spirit as a physiological reality and therefore welcome the whole human organism into the spiritual care space with kenotic humility. The conclusions of the paper are situated within the context of the theological conversation that follows the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher. It provides a critique of the recent definition of spirituality reported by Christina Puchalski et al. (“Improving the Spiritual Dimension of Whole Person Care: Reaching National and International Consensus.” Journal of Palliative Medicine 17(6): 642-56).

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Trauma, Spirituality, Physiology, Neuroscience, Consciousness, Spiritual Care.
Fields of Research: 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: D - Pastoral Studies
College/Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Christopher Turner
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 04:24
Last Modified: 01 May 2018 04:24
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3026

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...