UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Integration of sexual trauma in a religious narrative: transformation, resolution and growth among contemplative nuns

Durà-Vilà, G; Littlewood, R; Leavey, G; (2013) Integration of sexual trauma in a religious narrative: transformation, resolution and growth among contemplative nuns. Transcult Psychiatry , 50 (1) 21 - 46. 10.1177/1363461512467769. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
Integration of sexual trauma in a religious narrative: transformation, resolution and growth among contemplative nuns..pdf
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (239kB)

Abstract

The psychological consequences of sexual abuse are generally serious and enduring, particularly when the perpetrator is known and trusted by the survivor. This paper explores the experiences of five contemplative nuns who were sexually abused by priests and the spiritual journeys that followed. In the context of an ethnographic study of contemplative practice, participant observation and in-depth interviews were used to examine the ways that the nuns sought to make sense of their experiences through a long process of solitary introspection. The pursuit of meaning was shaped by religious beliefs relating to forgiveness, sacrifice, and salvation. Thus, trauma was transformed into a symbolic religious narrative that shaped their sense of identity. They were able to restructure core beliefs and to manage their current relationships with priests more securely. They described regaining their spiritual well-being in ways that suggest a form of posttraumatic spiritual growth. We conclude by discussing the findings in the light of the existing literature on the interaction of trauma and spirituality.

Type: Article
Title: Integration of sexual trauma in a religious narrative: transformation, resolution and growth among contemplative nuns
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1363461512467769
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363461512467769
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: Adaptation, Psychological, Adult, Anthropology, Cultural, Catholicism, Clergy, Crime Victims, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Narration, Qualitative Research, Religion and Psychology, Sex Offenses, Spain, Spirituality, Trust, Young Adult
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469519
Downloads since deposit
83Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item