Building the Resilient Community, M. Jan Holton
M. Jan Holton

Building the Resilient Community

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How do some communities around the world that suffer outrageous violence and trauma manage, with few outside resources, not only to survive, but to thrive? September 11, the devastation of hurricane Katrina, school shootings, and other events of community violence and trauma have taught us, as a nation and a church, about the fundamental importance of building a caring community that fosters resilience and hope.

Building the Resilient Community takes a refreshing turn of perspective by giving priority not only to the formally educated voices of the West but to those among the most marginalized and invisible in the world: refugees. Based on ethnographic research in Kakuma Refugee Camp and remote villages of southern Sudan, Holton presents a communal case study of a group of devoutly Christian refugees known as the Lost Boys of Sudan and asks the question, Might they have something to teach us about being a resilient community?

As Holton investigates their deeply embedded cultural and religious beliefs that nurture a profound sense of responsibility toward others, we find a communal relationship that reflects a unique sense of care and obligation. This deep frame for communal care breaks through as the root of a remarkable faith narrative that serves to help mitigate symptoms of trauma and to undergird resilience, and may do the same for us.
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255 printed pages
Original publication
2011

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