Mass trauma is an unavoidable reality in the United States. Trauma from violence, natural disasters, and disease has become all too familiar in the American experience, inevitably raising questions about where God is to be found in the midst of such tragedies. In every case, the aftermath leaves communities' sense of well-being broken and capacity to imagine a way forward thwarted. Though language often fails us in the midst of trauma, preachers and religious leaders are nevertheless called on to offer a Word.
Fractured Ground helps pastors craft sermons that fully plumb the disorienting suffering created by events of mass trauma, while still offering an authentic word of hope. Kimberly Wagner provides both incisive explanations of what trauma is and especially how it affects communities of faith, along with practical guidance for crafting sermons that reflect the brokenness of the traumatic situation and the persistent love of God that binds the broken together. Drawing on the burgeoning field of trauma studies, eschatological theologies of hope, scriptural wisdom, and liturgies of lament, Wagner helps preachers imagine what it might mean to preach a narratively fractured sermon in the aftermath of a communal traumatic event, ultimately affirming that no amount of brokenness is beyond the presence and promise of God.