The Eucharist, Mary, and the Body in Trauma Theology
Karen O’DonnellAn original and powerful interpretation of the Eucharist
This is an academic book, and represents a version of the author’s doctoral thesis; but this does not mean it is dry, or without practical or pastoral significance, for it builds on personal experiences. It is well written and accessible. Nonetheless, it is complex and somewhat controversial in that it challenges some of our attitudes and preconceptions of the Eucharist and, in particular, the emphasis on the crucifixion. There is paradox in the way that Karen O’Donnell stresses the Annunciation and the Incarnation, and the consequent traumatic effect these events had on Mary, rather than (or as well as) the suffering of Jesus. The book therefore represents a fresh perspective on eucharistic doctrine and disturbs or modifies the traditional narrative of priesthood, sacrifice and atonement. It is a beautifully produced but expensive volume, especially in hardback, and there may be relatively few individual buyers; but it is strongly recommended for theological libraries, where it should be a significant resource for all inquiring minds, not just Theology students.
Also available in hardback at £65
Reviewed by Peter Clough