Reintegration and Anamnesis: Theological Tools for Wartime Harms


  • Helen Paynter Bristol Baptist College, United Kingdom



war, moral injury, outcry, Bible, Lord’s Supper, Christian tradition


War is a complex phenomenon, which both results from and produces intersecting forces of power, trauma and reaction. This paper uses the story of Cain and Abel, found in Genesis 4, to open up the exploration of two particular harms which war causes: the silencing of victims and the moral injury of combatants and civilians. Scripture provides tools for helping to heal these harms. In place of silence, the Old Testament offers the outcry, the inarticulate cry of the afflicted which rises to heaven and causes God to come down to investigate and respond. For the soul-wound of moral injury, Scripture offers rituals of confession and lament, and preeminently, re-integration, which is not only the healing of communities but of fractured souls. Both of these are found at the Lord’s Table, where the outcry of the groaning world is held in the wounded heart of the Saviour, and where communities and souls find their healing through the Cross.


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How to Cite

Paynter, Helen. 2023. “Reintegration and Anamnesis: Theological Tools for Wartime Harms”. Theological Reflections: Eastern European Journal of Theology 21 (2):25-39.