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Joint Seminar: "Collective Trauma and Religion: Perspectives on History and Healing in Cases of Abuse in Catholic Institutions"

Wanneer:ma 27-05-2019 15:00 - 17:00
Waar:Room 253, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38

Joint Seminar of the Centre for Religion and Heritage and the Centre for Religion, Health, Wellbeing

Recent decades have seen waves of publicity worldwide, as cases of past abuse in Catholic institutions have come to light. As individuals bring their stories of sexual abuse or forced labour to the public, the trauma of the individual has, to a certain extent, become a collective trauma. Communities find themselves willingly or unwillingly forced to change their relationship to the past of their church. The church, scholars, victims’ groups and the state have all joined into the process of revisiting the past.

These issues raise a number of questions about the relationship of religious heritage and individual and collective healing that we want to explore in this seminar. First, we will hear from historian Sean O’Connell of the Queen’s University Belfast, who is writing a history of the Magdalene laundries and mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland. Following the lecture, we will have a discussion together with psychologist Hanneke Muthert and Annemie Knibbe (confidential counselor to victims of abuse in Catholic institutional settings) and Joram Tarusarira, expert on conflict transformation and reconciliation, to reflect on the relationship of history and healing in such cases of collective trauma.


15:00: Coffee and Tea

15:15: Lecture: Prof. Sean O’Connell, Queen’s University Belfast:

The challenges of writing history for the State: researching Catholic Magdalene laundries and mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland

16:00: Round table with Hanneke Muthert, Annemie Knibbe-van Dijck, Joram Tarusarira

16:30: Discussion