A Pastoral Theology of Childlessness

A Pastoral Theology
of Childlessness

Author Emma Nash
Publisher SCM £19.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780334060512

The Bible, except for Ecclesiastes, portrays childlessness as a curse. How, then, can we support people who are unable to have children? In this searingly honest account of her own experience, Emma Nash reveals the painful history of her attempts to conceive and carry a child through pregnancy. Is childlessness a disability? She reports the often wounding comments others have made in unfortunate attempts to provide pastoral support. She confronts the many difficult biblical passages and endeavours to make sense of them in the light of her own experience. Holy Saturday is a day where she finds space to contain her grief but where does the Resurrection fit? In the conclusion, we read, ‘I no longer believe God is in control. I am wounded.’ This is not a memoir but the account of deep theological research and reflection emerging from personal trauma. We are taken from such telling insights as ‘People do not talk in fertility clinics’ to ideas for helping involuntarily childless people feel included in services. Reading this book was rightly uncomfortable, yet it provides such helpful advice for all who lead worship or provide pastoral care.

Reviewed by RONA ORME

Theology, pastoral care