Karen O’Donnell – The Dark Womb: Reconceiving Theology Through Reproductive Loss

Episode: In this episode, co-host Amy Hughes talks with Karen ODonnell about her new book, The Dark Womb: Reconceiving Theology Through Reproductive Loss. There are books that re-evaluate or re-imagine or re-invigorate theology, and then there are books that reveal theology’s silence, presumption, and lack and faces those problems head on. This book falls in the latter category – breaking the theological, liturgical, and pastoral around miscarriage, challenging certain articulations of doctrine of providence, and honestly appraising our practice of petitionary prayer.

Guest: Karen ODonnell leads the research and teaching in Christian Spirituality at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK. She is a feminist, practical theologian with particular interest in the intersections of body and theology, especially around the issue of trauma. Her first monograph was Broken Bodies: The Eucharist, Mary and the Body in Trauma Theology (SCM Press, 2018) which explored the relationship between the body and trauma in theology. Her second monograph is The Dark Womb: Re-Conceiving Theology Through Reproductive Loss (SCM Press, 2022) which seeks to construct a fresh approach to theology using the experience of miscarriage as a starting point. Karen has published widely on trauma theology, Mariology, feminist theology, and digital theology.

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