Shattered Faith: The Social Epistemology of Deconversion by Spiritually Violent Religious Trauma

David Efird, Joshua Luke Cockayne, Jack Robert Warman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Many people lose their faith in God, not because of some knock-down argument against it, but rather because they were knocked down themselves, whether literally or figuratively, by the seemingly faithful. Such people, those knocked-down by the faithful, are survivors of religious trauma and, in some cases, spiritual violence. Adding insult to injury, some would have us believe that such survivors never really had faith in God in the first place; it just seemed to them that they did. We believe that this is wrong. It’s possible to have faith in God, and then lose that faith due to the actions of other people, particularly church people, who shame them with religious texts and rituals. Church hurt really can cause deconversion. That’s what we aim to argue for in this essay.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarginalized Identities, Peripheral Theologies
Subtitle of host publicationExpanding Conversations in Analytic Theology
EditorsMichelle Panchuk, Michael Rea
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Analytic Theology
PublisherOxford University Press

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