People who move out of deep-seated fundamentalism, of any stripe of Christianity, often have deep anguish. They more often meet a personal crisis of some sort which leads them to break with all that they were. Perhaps it is intellectual or even spiritual or perhaps they were met with a sudden choice of morality. They have hit a wall, or perhaps suffered the humpty-dumpty affect, and lay shattered waiting for the King to put them back together again. The black and white world they formerly inhabited has been flooded and destroyed with doubt. How do they survive, or rather, do they survive? Some go the route back to fundamentalism, that is to say, to a militant atheism. As much as their world was defined by believing in a ‘literal’ interpretation of Scripture, their new world is defined by disbelieving in a ‘literal’ interpretation of Scripture. But, what about those who make it? What about those who continue to believe and more, grow in faith? Those who, even if all the pieces no longer fit like they are supposed to, get put back together again?
This book will be a collection of essays of personal stories from those who have otherwise changed their anchor in fear of fundamentalism. They are now seeking a path which entertains the notion of doubt. We are seeking stories of this crisis and how believers made it through. Specifically, most essays will involve some of these points:
- Personal Christian history. Where did you come from? Did you choose to be apart of that group or were you raised in it?
- The Crisis. Please avoid demonization. If you feel you must, change the names where appropriate. Please feel free to be as deeply personal as you feel you must to accurately tell the story.
- What brought you through?
- Lingering effects? How are you doing today? Was it a smooth transition? What might you do differently or suggest others do differently? If you are married, how did your spouse react?
- Where did you land? Will you stay there?
You can include some discussion on theology.
- What were your theological changes?
- How did you arrive to those changes?
Specifically, we are looking for an essay, as well, that deals with the “slippery slope” argument. This essay can deal with the above mentioned issues, but should be devoted somewhat to debunking the slippery slope argument.
Other special essays include,
- One from someone who didn’t make the transition well
- One from a pastor who has engaged with those making the transition. What advice can he or she give?
- One from the perspective of a Christian counselor
Abstracts should be between 200 and 300 words and include a short biography. There are no academic qualifications needed for the main group of essays. Final papers are expected to be between 3000 and 8000 words.
All abstracts should be received by 30 June. You will be notified no later than 5 July of your acceptance. We reserve the right to give tentative acceptance beforehand. All acceptances will be considered tentative until the final essay is accepted. The deadline for final paper submissions will be 30 September. The publisher will receive the completed work by 31 October.
You may email your abstracts to:
j w at t s (at ) united (dot ) edu
Or, leave a comment here and I will email you.