Biblical and Theological Visions of Resilience : Pastoral and Clinical Insights book cover
1st Edition

Biblical and Theological Visions of Resilience
Pastoral and Clinical Insights

ISBN 9781032082509
Published August 2, 2021 by Routledge
260 Pages

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Book Description

In recent years, resilience has become a near ubiquitous cultural phenomenon whose influence extends into many fields of academic enquiry. Though research suggests that religion and spirituality are significant factors in engendering resilient adaptation, comparatively little biblical and theological reflection has gone into understanding this construct. This book seeks to remedy this deficiency through a breadth of reflection upon human resilience from canonical biblical and Christian theological sources.

Divided into three parts, biblical scholars and theologians provide critical accounts of these perspectives, integrating biblical and theological insight with current social scientific understandings of resilience. Part 1 presents a range of biblical visions of resilience. Part 2 considers a variety of theological perspectives on resilience, drawing from figures including Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Part 3 explores the clinical and pastoral applications of such expressions of resilience.

This diverse yet cohesive book sets out a new and challenging perspective of how human resilience might be re-envisioned from a Christian perspective. As a result, it will be of interest to scholars of practical and pastoral theology, biblical studies, and religion, spirituality and health. It will also be a valuable resource for chaplains, pastors, and clinicians with an interest in religion and spirituality.

Table of Contents


John Swinton


List of Contributors

    1. Introduction
    2. Nathan H. White and Christopher C.H. Cook

      Section 1: Biblical Visions of Resilience

    3. ‘To Do You Good in the End’: The Wilderness Experience in Israel’s Communal Memory (Deuteronomy 8)
    4. Noel Forlini Burt

    5. Singing Stories Together: Relationship and Storytelling as Resources for Resilience in the Book of Psalms
    6. Rebecca W. Poe Hays

    7. Struck Down but Not Destroyed: Images of Resilience from the Book of Jeremiah
    8. Jonathan D. Bentall

    9. Traumatic Speech and the Rejection of Narrative in Lamentations
    10. David Janzen

    11. Abide in Me: A Johannine Theology of Resilience
    12. Andrew Byers

    13. Complements to the Notion of Human Resilience: Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians as a Test Case
    14. Steven J. Kraftchick

    15. Resilience in 1 Peter: Faithfulness and Hope in the Face of Adversity
    16. Katherine M. Hockey

      Section 2: Theological Visions of Resilience

    17. Resilience and Music in the Early Church
    18. Carol Harrison

    19. Virtue and Resilience: Aquinas’s Christian Approach to Virtue Applied to Resilience
    20. Craig Steven Titus

    21. The Certainty of God’s Promises: Martin Luther’s Pastoral Use of the Gospel
    22. Carl L. Beckwith

    23. ‘The Science of the Cross’: Edith Stein and Resilience
    24. Peter Tyler

    25. Resilient unto Death: Resilience through the Lens of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    26. Jennifer Moberly

    27. ‘A Simple and Warm Common Humanity’: Self-Transcendence and Restless Resilience in Jürgen Moltmann’s Theology
    28. Adam J. Powell

      Section 3: Practical Visions of Resilience

    29. Clinical Applications of Resilience
    30. Joanna Collicutt

    31. Pastoral Reflections on Resilience
    32. Page Brooks

    33. Concluding Reflections: Transforming Resilience

                    Christopher C.H. Cook and Nathan H. White

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Christopher C. H. Cook is Professor of Spirituality, Theology & Health in the Department of Theology & Religion at Durham University, an Honorary Minor Canon at Durham Cathedral, and an Honorary Chaplain with Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV).

Nathan H. White is Director of the Institute for Faith and Resilience and a chaplain for the US Army.


"What does theology have to do with resilience? In this collection of essays, White and Cook have brought together an insightful and thought provoking collection of responses from within the Christian tradition. The answers that emerge challenge some assumptions within the social sciences and have wide relevance for pastoral and clinical practice. This is a very welcome and needed addition to the burgeoning field of resilience studies."

Harold G. Koenig, Director, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, USA

"How best to cope with life’s difficulties – how to be resilient – is a question of perennial importance, which is perhaps particularly pressing today. These wide-ranging essays open up fresh and life-giving perspectives on the issue."

Walter Moberly, Professor of Theology and Biblical Interpretation, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK