"God is Supreme": How Formerly Abducted Women Speak About God and Suffering


  • Sarah Herning


Western theological scholarship on suffering abounds, and some scholars have conducted interviews with survivors of the Lord’s Resistance Army about the militia’s heterodox indoctrination with Scripture: yet no one has researched how former LRA child soldiers make sense of God and their suffering. I draw on six months of my ethnographic fieldwork among formerly abducted women in Northern Uganda, including two focus groups and extensive participant observation at a Christian community-based organization employing formerly abducted women. I explored how these women discuss God’s role in their suffering in an attempt to bring their voices into the conversation, and found that their response differs from binary Western theodicies with roots in the Enlightenment, and that through their faith in the face of suffering, these women offer another way of approaching this theological discussion not as a problem to logically solve apart from God, but a practical reality to undergo with reverence (wot) for God.






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