What happens when your entire life and career are constructed around a religious faith that you no longer possess? Do you continue to promote a gospel that you have intellectually and emotionally rejected to maintain your livelihood and the support and respect you receive from your community? Or do you renounce your faith to your congregation and the public at large, putting yourself and your family at risk?
From Apostle to Apostate offers a comprehensive introduction to the Clergy Project, established in 2011 to provide a safe space where clergy who have lost their faith can connect with others facing the exact same questions - often alone and in isolation. Charting the origins, growth, and goals of the project, the book draws on the author's own experience as a founding project member and on interviews with its founders. It also reveals the troubles and triumphs experienced by many of its members, whose numbers have grown from just over 50 to more than 500 in a few short years. As the book movingly demonstrates, despite the substantial personal and professional challenges nonbelieving clergy face, for many, a loss of faith has turned out not to be a loss at all - but a gain of newfound community, self-respect, and honesty with themselves and others.
©2015 Catherine Dunphy (P)2016 Pitchstone Publishing