Monash University
Gwyn McClelland Thesis 2018 Legacies of suffering, theologies of hope Nagasaki Catholics, the bomb and dangerous memory.pdf (19.43 MB)

Legacies of suffering, theologies of hope: Nagasaki Catholics, the bomb and dangerous memory

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posted on 2018-06-07, 05:48 authored by GWYN ANDREW MCCLELLAND
On 9 August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Of the dead, approximately 8500 were Catholic, representing sixty to seventy-five percent of their own community and over ten percent of the total. This thesis analyses the memories and narratives of surviving members of the Catholic community in Nagasaki through the lens of Johann Metz’s theology of ‘dangerous memory’. For the Catholic survivors, memories of the bombing destruction are linked to community narratives about religious persecution and marginalisation in earlier times. The survivors speak about ongoing tests of faith, but also their own resilience and survival.


Principal supervisor

Beatrice Trefalt

Additional supervisor 1

Ernest Koh

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts