Resilience and Resolve

Background

Resilience and Resolve will be a collection of stories of hurt and pain experienced by individual Christians, Churches or Christian institutions from across the global Church. I invite contributions from both academic thinkers, Christian communities, and emerging/unpublished voices from different Christian communities. The idea for this book arose from my own experience of hurt/pain from the church but also increase in the number of people experiencing the same but not having any resources for recovery. A related need is the relatively limited range of voices currently represented in books on this subject matter to help pastorally people who are experiencing or have experienced pain – this collection will also directly respond to that imbalance. The current vision for the book is that the subject area will be narrow (Church pain) and the style and experience represented by contributors will be broad (I want to include as many different countries/contexts as can be reasonably managed in one collection, with a special preference for previously ignored/silenced voices). While I currently anticipate that most contributors will offer personal essays of about 1,500 words in length, I am open to suggestions of longer/shorter pieces or different styles of writing (for example, poetry or graphic narrative).

The aim of the book

  1. To offer a diverse range of theological ways of talking about and understanding the well-documented experience of pain and suffering by Christians and Churches  and what it means for the Church
  2. To propose ways to engage with that experience. It may be appropriate, for example, for contributors to offer original prayers, liturgy, or poetry to accompany their piece.

I am looking for:

  • Context-rooted writing: where do you live/have you lived/what do you do/what are your relationships? How has this shaped your experience of pain and suffering? This focus recognises that all theology is contextual, and pain and suffering are driven by context. The context might mean different things. For example, a survivor of abuse in the  Church, as an LGBTQIA+, a person with a disability, gender discrimination, racism etc.  
  • Explicitly Christian writing: this book’s scope is limited to (and will therefore be drawn from) those expressing Christian faith, while also highlighting its diversity of expression.
  • Biblical and Theologically informed writing: what aspect of faith and tradition are you drawing on? Contributions can draw from a theologian, doctrine, or personal faith/church experience, or the experience of struggling with one or more of the above.
  • Diversity of style and approach: some contributions may write from the perspective of constructive or historical theology, and some may speak from direct experience – either of themselves or their church community. 
  • A diversity of people: I am asking for people who are LGBTQIA, BIPOC, disabilities and especially people those who are women and non-binary persons. 
  • This is important for this book that is honest, open, and hopeful. This is a book by Christians who have experienced pain and suffering but continue to be a Christian and active in the local church.  

I am not looking for:

  • Academic papers: this is not intended to be an academic book. Writing should be accessible to a wider church audience.
  • An essay about someone else’s pain and suffering. Speak from your context.
  • An argument making simple pain and suffering  
  • General discussion of pain and suffering  and its causes/solutions 

Submitting your pitch

Please submit your pitch as an email attachment (word doc or PDF) to resilienceandresolve@gmail.com by 10 pm (GMT) on the 5th December. Your pitch should use the following structure:

  1. Name and location
  2. Brief description of any relevant experience (200 words or fewer)
  3. Description of the proposed piece (300 words or fewer)
  4. Previous writing sample (500 words or fewer)

If the submission date poses a problem, get in touch to let me know. I will do my best to be accommodating. If you have any questions or want to run an idea by me before submitting an official pitch, do not hesitate to get in touch. All/any royalties will be split evenly between contributors.

K. Augustine Tanner-Ihm

(Curator, Resilience and Resolve: Despite everything why we love the Church from people that shouldn’t)