Recovery from Sexual Violence and Socially Mediated Dimensions of God's Grace: Implications for Christian Communities

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Arts and Humanities | Christianity | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Religion


How are Christians to understand God’s grace for individuals in the midst of severe trauma, particularly in light of a global epidemic of sexual violence against so many women and children? How does the call to witness to the good news of Christ’s love translate into specific obligations that respond to the needs of sexual abuse survivors? The purpose of this article is to explore these questions in the context of Karl Rahner’s theology of grace. When seeking to understand God’s gracious presence in the midst of sexual violation, it is particularly helpful to explore Rahner’s insight that God’s grace is mediated through acts of neighbour-love both within and beyond Christian communities. Such insight into the social mediation of grace has exciting potential to transform perceptions of what is at stake in loving our neighbour and the forms that neighbour-love can take, mobilising Christians for greater social justice in the service of God.


DOI: 10.1177/0953946805054806