Shelly Rambo

Associate Professor of Theology

Shelly Rambo has been teaching at Boston University School of Theology since 2004. Trained as both a systematic and constructive theologian, she is particularly attentive to the transmission of Christian theologies of suffering, from history to the present. She locates her work at the intersections of Christian theology, literature, and postmodern thought. Her book, Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining, forges a theology of the Spirit through engagements with postmodern biblical hermeneutics, a theology of Holy Saturday, and contemporary trauma theory. Her second book, Resurrecting Wounds: Living in the Afterlife of Trauma, explores the significance of resurrection wounds in the Christian tradition in relationship to contemporary discourses about wounding in popular culture and the study of trauma.

Her work at the intersection of trauma and religion has led to partnerships with chaplains and international educators in post-conflict areas. Inspired by the work of military chaplains, she was instrumental in designing Boston University School of Theology’s MDiv track in Chaplaincy. She also serves as a faculty leader in Boston University’s Religion and Conflict Transformation program. Her current projects focus on theologies of spiritual care that inform the work of chaplains. Through grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the BTS center, she is partnering with sociologists to explore the changing demographics of religious life in the US and the education and training of chaplains.

She teaches courses in contemporary theology, feminist and womanist theologies, trauma and theology, postmodern theology, and theopoetics.

Selected Publications


Resurrecting Wounds: Living in the Afterlife of Trauma, Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, September 2017.

Post-Traumatic Public Theology, co-edited with Stephanie Arel. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, November 2016.

Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010.

Book Chapters

“Theopoetics of Trauma,” in Trauma and Transcendence: Suffering and the Limits of Theory. ed. Eric Boynton and Peter Capretto, Fordham University Press, August 2018.

“Salvation in the After-living,” in Comparing Faithfully: Insights for Systematic Theological Reflection (Comparative Theology: Thinking Across Traditions) ed. Michelle Voss Roberts. Fordham University Press, September 2016.

“Refiguring Wounds in the Afterlife (of Trauma) in Carnal Hermeneutics, ed. Richard Kearney, Fordham University Press, September 2015.

Faculty Types