Feminist and trauma theologian Karen O’Donnell shares her experiences of repeated reproductive loss. Describing the physical, emotional and spiritual impact, she explores the complexity of faith from the perspective of the miscarrying person. Karen brings thoughtful sensitivity to a reality that has often been ignored and offers her responses to some of the many questions we are likely to encounter in the face of trauma, suffering and grief.

After the interview, Nomad hosts Tim Nash and Joy Brooks talk about their experiences of loss, and the role this played in the deconstruction and reconstruction of their faith.

Interview starts at 16m 06s

Image used with permission


Breath Prayer One: During a Miscarriage by Karen O’Donnell from the book The Dark Womb used with permission from SCM Press


The Dark Womb: Re-Conceiving Theology through Reproductive Loss

Feminist Trauma Theologies: Body, Scripture & Church in Critical Perspective

Broken Bodies: The Eucharist, Mary and the Body in Trauma Theology


“If God isn’t to blame for a miscarriage – because God doesn’t make that happen – then conversely and perhaps challengingly, God isn’t to be praised for a successful birth either.”

“Rather than these big thunderbolt interventions into the world, I see much more of a gentle remaining and persuasion of ethical action amongst humans.”

“I find it really difficult to imagine a church space that would be a safe space for post-trauma remaking. It would need to be informed and inclusive. It would need to be based in hospitality and generosity of spirit. It would need to be open to questions and doubts. It would need to be a place that loved people first and foremost and sought their full flourishing – and put that before everything else. And I haven’t found that place. I’ve found good places, but I haven’t found that place.”


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