Healing Haunted Histories

NEW from Elaine Enns and Ched Myers of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

Healing Haunted Histories:
A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization

In their latest book, Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization, Elaine Enns and Ched Myers take on the “ghosts” of settler colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and white supremacy that can be found in many of our family histories — if only we have the courage to face them.

Available for order now, this 400-page book is equal parts:

  • memoir (mostly focusing on Enns’ Mennonite family and community, who endured the Russian Civil War, fled the Soviet aftermath and settled on Indigenous land in Saskatchewan in the 1920s); 
  • social analysis;
  • theological reflection; and
  • workbook for those ready to “do their own work.”

Healing Haunted Histories explores how the history of genocide against Indigenous peoples continues today in racist and inequitable practices and policies. It urges readers to learn their own family and community stories of complicity, and models how to navigate these difficult waters. And it calls Christians (and other people of faith and conscience) to build solidarity with Indigenous communities, including experimenting with practices of reparation.

The story of Elaine’s family and community’s experience as refugees, as settlers on the Canadian prairies, and as neighbors with Cree communities invites readers to consider:

  • Landlines: Where did our families come from, and how did they get here? Were they forced or pushed from their places of origin? Who was displaced by their arrival in North America, and how does the land hold these stories? 
  • Bloodlines: What do we know about our family immigrant and settler histories? How might our communal stories be devised or distorted? What traumas or privileges have we inherited because of their experiences?
  • Songlines: What faith traditions and/or cultural practices fostered resilience in them, and which have been passed on to us? What touchstones feed our spirits, minds, and bodies today, and inspire our commitment to work for justice and healing?

Interrogating our own communal past and present takes us into often painful and complex terrain, challenging us toward personal and political transformation.

Praise for Healing Haunted Histories

“This profound, timely, humbling, but ultimately empowering study is exemplary in every way, offering a path through thickets of intense debate and hope amid cacopho­nies of denial and anger.”
— Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells, vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London

“I was profoundly moved by Healing Haunted Histories. It felt like one of those moments of finding just the right voices, just the right encouragement, and just the right challenge at just the right time.”
— Dr. Nathan Stucky, Director, Farminary Project, Princeton Theological Seminary

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 (C) 2021 Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, PO Box 328 Oak View, CA, 93022 USA