Trauma and The Growth of Love in Children


  • Keith J. White Founder and Chair of the Child Theology Movement, Mill Grove, United Kingdom



biblical narrative, boundaries, child theology, Christian households, community, creativity, identity, loss, parenting, play, resilience, seasons, security, separation, significance, trauma, trust, village


This paper aims at all those seeking to understand, respond to, and help children suffering trauma because of the full-scale War of Russia against Ukraine that began in 2022. It draws from three main sources: personal experience of living alongside children and young people who have suffered the trauma of separation and loss; studies, reflections, and practice of those have sought to understand children in a holistic way: biological; emotional/psychological; social and spiritual; Christian faith and tradition, including the Bible, human resources and activity, and theology. The paper is based on the conviction that “it takes a village to raise a child,” not least in a time of war, and that all villagers who have the well-being of that child at heart have a potential role to play in the process. The author points that “parenting” in its widest sense is not restricted to biological relatives or designated carers. The paper seeks to imagine the context from outside the war zone, acknowledging the complicated, secretive, messy, and unpredictable nature of conflict. In its conclusion it brings a message of hope, based not on wishful thinking or utopian dreams, but on experience and evidence collected from around the world, and close to hand, that demonstrates how the trauma of children can and has been overcome.


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How to Cite

White, Keith J. 2023. “Trauma and The Growth of Love in Children”. Theological Reflections: Eastern European Journal of Theology 21 (2):40-56.