The Apostle Paul and Post-Traumatic Stress: From Woundedness to Wholeness

The Apostle Paul and Post-Traumatic Stress is an interdisciplinary study utilizing both religion and psychology, with perceptions grounded in personal experience. Academically, Robert Collie s Doctor of Theology is in the field of Religion and the Personality Sciences. Professionally, he is a Diplomate ® in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Personally, his experience with the post traumatic comes out of a face-to-fang encounter with a rattlesnake.

Annelie Collie was born the first night the air raid sirens sounded in Wiesbaden. Most nights for the rest of the war she was put to bed with her clothes on. The Church of Hesse certified her as a Teacher of the Community while she was serving on the chaplaincy team of a teaching hospital and on the clinical pastoral education team. After coming to America she has served as a clinical social worker in mental health settings.

Additional personal information may be found on their blog, which has the same title as this book. and facebook under Robert M. Collie.

The authors weave the stories of Paul, Stephen, Jesus, and other biblical figures into a narration of hope. As a former therapist in a mental health setting, I have worked with those who suffered the trauma. This study is encouraging to those women and men who have felt despair, defeat, alone, fearful, and embarrassed by their story. That the authors capture the biblical perspective is crucial for members of the church to understand PTSS, as many may be called upon to be caregivers, friends, and supporters of those who are suffering.
Joan Coslow,
Retired mental health counselor,
Park Center, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

The book s key insight is the recognition that Paul s theological enterprise arises out of key personal traumas : his presence at Stephen s stoning, his Damascus Road experience, and his various imprisonments. This insight, the Collies suggest, leads to a radical recontextualization of Paul and his understanding of justification, the church s role in addressing empire, interfaith relations, and the profound healing, transformation, and reversal of values of traumatized individuals that can experience in Christ. This is a must-read for pastors, therapists, students of the Bible, and those who believe that the church s message has power to address the tremendous pressures and stressors of contemporary society.
L. Michael Spath, D.Min., Ph.D.,
Religious Studies Department of Philosophy,
Peace and Conflict Studies Indiana University Purdue University Ft. Wayne

This work addresses the theme of Acts 9 that depicts Saul as an instrument whom I have chosen… we are taken through the scriptures to understand the emotional development of Saul/Paul who has most often been studied for his intellect. We see his intense emotionality that shapes the interplay with his gifted theology. Paul moves through his suffering as an agitator to a reconciler, from a self-confident dogmatic (as Saul and Paul) to a cautious yet astute writer from prison. I was personally intrigued in discovering the complexity of the man as an instrument of God s people.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Dykstra,
Interim Pastor, First Presbyterian Church,
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Review & Commentary