Fortress Press

Horror and Its Aftermath: Reconsidering Theology and Human Experience

Horror and Its Aftermath

Reconsidering Theology and Human Experience

Sally Stamper (Author)

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Theological anthropology often brings psychology to bear on the contingent nature of human existence in relationship to God. In this volume, Sally Stamper articulates one modern trajectory of theological recourse to psychology (comprising Schleiermacher, Nietzsche, and Tillich) as the ground on which she brings clinical psychoanalytic theory and early childhood studies into conversation with fundamental questions about the relationship of God to human suffering and its remediation. She develops her argument from the assertions that human experience evolves within an awareness of human vulnerability to profound suffering and that insight into consequent human anxiety is a powerful resource for soteriology, eschatology, and theological anthropology. Stamper narrates this "normative anxiety" by integrating object relations theories of early childhood development and critical readings of literary texts for young children. She gestures toward a new eschatological vision that poses the radical otherness of a transcendent God as key to divine remediation of human suffering, in the process building on Marilyn McCord Adams's soteriological response to human horror-participation and on Jonathan Lear's assertion of radical hope in response to catastrophic collapse of cultural resources for making meaning.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781451492682
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 250
  • Publication Date September 1, 2016


Camel, Lion, Child Narrating Human Suffering and Salvation
The Least of These: A Narration of Human Anxiety in Early Childhood
Towards a Theological Engagement of Early Childhood
". . . The Lord Encountered Him and Sought to Kill Him": Marilyn McCord Adams on Horror and Salvation
Radical Hope: This World and the Next


"How can we take human devastation with full seriousness and yet hold out hope of positive meaning for societies and cultures as well as for individual lives?  Sally Stamper gives us a lot to think about in this richly suggestive work. Her expert use of psychological categories and the results of infant research nuances and corrects our understanding of human capacities for meaning-making, and so sheds important light on the most penetrating of existential and theological questions."

Marilyn McCord Adams | former Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford

"How might Christianity help people heal from the psychological damage done to them by the senseless horrors of life? In a path breaking interdisciplinary work that spans the fields of theology, psychology, and religion and literature, Sally Stamper offers her own astute account of what it would take for religious meaning-making to be an effective psychological balm when coping with potentially life shattering, traumatic events." 

Kathryn Tanner | Yale Divinity School