Posts in Category: Religious trauma

Religious Trauma

We all need connection with ourselves, others, and deeper meaning. Many religious traditions can facilitate meeting these needs. My clinical interest in religious trauma stems from growing up in a tradition that prescribed a rigid understanding of deeper meaning, and often required us to sacrifice connection to ourselves and others. The theologian Paul Tillich said, “The opposite of faith is not doubt; it is certainty.” I first encountered this concept in Ann Lamott’s writing, which I read as an Evangelical teenager. It stopped me in my tracks. In the worldview of my childhood, faith and certainty were synonymous. There were right beliefs and wrong beliefs, and the more certain you could be of your right beliefs, the better.