“… enactments of lament. It is through more fully bearing the trauma and sorrow of the very sick that glimpses of resurrection and hope can be found. ”
In recent decades great strides have been made in treating cancer. Cancer narratives show how diagnosis is no longer necessarily a death sentence; even people with advanced-stage cancer live with and sometimes even beyond it. But dealing with serious illness is traumatic for those who are ill as well as for their family, friends, and the communities in which they live. While growing numbers of theologians work with insights from trauma theory in order to better understand and support those living with trauma, most have focused thus far on trauma caused by human harm. What has yet to be more thoroughly investigated is how trauma’s relationship to serious illnesses can also disrupt tidy cross-to-resurrection frameworks as well as the now-and-the-not-yet articulation of Christian hope. In addressing these issues, this project offers Christian churches a fuller vision of what it means to be the body of Christ in light of seriously ill bodies. Developing a theologically rich model for ecclesial engagement and response to the central story and symbols of Christian faith as they are refracted through the lens of cancer helps create the possibility of glimpses of resurrection.