Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of exile and Christianity for the Lost Boys from Sudan: A transcendental-phenomenological study
by Petronis, Lisa Anne, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2009, 794; 3486446
Abstract (Summary)

This study illuminates the essence of exile and shared Christianity for the Lost Boys from Sudan. Interviews and a phenomenological research method were used to deepen the lived experience of 8 Lost Boys from Sudan. The study vividly describes the literal and symbolic journey taken by the Lost Boys over a 15- to 23-year period. The study captures the essence of their exile and provides rich descriptions of the many dimensions of their amazing ordeal, including physical and emotional suffering, tragedy, trauma, spirituality, faith, redemption, and resiliency. This study expands knowledge in the field of clinical psychology related to the topics of coping with violence and aggression, genocide, the migrant experience, and the psychology of religion, as it investigates traits contributing to adaptation and personal growth in the face of trauma, including changes in the subjective structures of time, space, causality, relationship to self, relationship to others, relationship to God, materiality, and bodily concerns.

As young children, the Lost Boys walked hundreds of miles and endured unimaginable suffering. This study gives an in-depth description of their profound journey that informs the reader of the lived experience of their exile. As the first and only depth-psychological study of this group from Southern Sudan, it produces informative results regarding the presence of spirituality alongside suffering, and the power of such a combination. The study shows that, in the face of profound trauma, one is capable of evolving emotionally and spiritually. The Boys' narratives paint a heartbreaking and heartwarming tale about the power of the human spirit.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kipnis, Aaron
Commitee:
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Religion, Black studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Christianity, Exile, Lost Boys from Sudan, Resiliency, Trauma
Publication Number: 3486446
ISBN: 9781267044457
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