Spiritual Formation and Sexual Abuse: Embodiment, Community and Healing
- Volume 2
- Issue 1, Spring 2009
- Spiritual Formation and Sexual Abuse: Embodiment, Community and Healing
As a distortion of God’s created designs, sexual abuse (SA) carries a unique devastation-factor. Abuse that is sexual in nature damages a spectrum of internal and external aspects of personhood. In particular, the core realities of: (1) self-identity, (2) community, (3) and spiritual communion with God can be deeply fractured through SA. In light of the significance of the image of God, movement toward healing includes strengthening personal agency, processing profound boundary ruptures, and managing disillusionment with God. Due to the multi-faceted trauma of sexual abuse (i.e., physical, social, spiritual) spiritual formation programs must not only plan for the unique profile of abuse victims, but also need to incorporate a fuller understanding and praxis of the realities of embodiment, ritual, and theocentric metaphor into their transformational goals. Analysis includes first-person experience, anthropological science, and theological reflection.
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