The article investigates theories of
resilience as applied to individuals and groups. From a group perspective, the potential of and
obstacles to resilience are examined against the backgound of post-apartheid South Africa.
Individual perpetrators and victims, as well as corporate bodies such as institutionalised
faith communities have been affected. For the liberation of South Africa’s wounded soul,
resilience is needed. In the article, psychological dimensions of resilience theory are brought
into dialogue with the theological hermeneutical model of Ernst Fuchs in order to show how
an encounter with the Jesus narrative of care for wounded people can foster resilience, liberate
and bring healing to both faith communities and to this predominantly religious country.
This article is an adaption
of a speech delivered at
the conference of the
‘New Directions in Practical
Theology’ group, 07−09
May 2014 at the Princeton
Princeton, NJ, United States