Narrative themes in responses to trauma in a religious community

C. J. Ogden, D. Kaminer, J. Van Kradenburg, S. Seedat, D. J. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: The development of a meaningful narrative of trauma experiences is an important factor in recovery, and religious beliefs may constitute an important meaning system for trauma survivors. The study examined the narrative themes which emerged from interviews with survivors of the massacre of a church congregation in South Africa (N=19). Design: A descriptive, retrospective study. Setting: Community based study. Subjects: A volunteer sample of 19 participants. Outcome Measures: An open ended interview and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). Results: Thematic analysis revealed that religious beliefs and practices were frequently utilised to construct a meaningful retrospective narrative of the massacre. The implications of the findings for future research with trauma survivors are discussed. Conclusions: Religion may provide a framework by which survivors of trauma construct a meaningful account of their experience, and may be a useful focus for intervention with trauma survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalCentral African Journal of Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Narrative themes in responses to trauma in a religious community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this