1st Edition

Righteous Religion Unmasking the Illusions of Fundamentalism and Authoritarian Catholicism

By Kathleen Ritter, Craig O'Neill Copyright 1996
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    Why are so many individuals discouraged, at spiritual dead ends, even when they are active participants in their churches? Righteous Religion exposes the authoritarian misuse of Christian teaching that often leaves its members ignored, chastised, or belittled. This new book offers hope for anyone who has struggled with disillusionment in the face of an unbending religious system. After unmasking a bewildering network of illusions that operate beneath the surface of Fundamentalism and dogmatic Catholicism, the authors help readers find their own voices of truth. This is a candid book that analyzes the grip of Fundamentalism and Catholicism on their respective followers, despite financial and sexual scandals, misuse of power and influence, apparent hypocrisy, and selective self-righteousness of these two religious systems.

    Using real life stories of ordinary people in ordinary churches, Righteous Religion demonstrates that the efforts involved in maintaining illusions are incompatible with claiming a personal spiritual voice. The authors discuss the relationship between the breakdown of erroneous notions and the growth that will involve readers in finding their own voice. From the stories presented, readers will see the journey progress from questioning previously unquestioned assumptions, reclaiming the best out of their religious traditions, and then transcending that which is no longer viable by grieving over illusions, learning to live with paradox, and transforming illusions into a new, valid, and spiritually personal religious truth.

    As readers begin the journey of finding their own spiritual voice, their experiences will be validated by the prose and stories in Righteous Religion. Those outside of Fundamentalism and Catholicism can begin to understand the practices of these religious groups through the authors’clear explanation of the dynamics and inner workings of creed bound Fundamentalism and Catholicism. This book has appeal to anyone--whether from within or outside religious tradition--who has questioned the grip of Fundamentalism and Catholicism on individuals.

    Contents Preface
    • Introduction
    • Part One: Illusions About Righteous Religion
    • Toward an Authentic Voice
    • Religion as the Fortress of Absolute Truth
    • Religion as a Parent
    • Six Illusions of Religion as the Good Parent
    • Clergy as Healthy Parents
    • Part Two: One Big Happy Family
    • What Will People Think?
    • To Thine Own Self be Untrue
    • Spinning a Web
    • Scapegoating
    • Shadow Carriers
    • A Disowned Past
    • Don’t Rock the Boat
    • Caught in the Middle
    • Business as Usual
    • Speaking With Forked Tongue
    • Challenges to the Power Structure
    • Part Three: Claiming Your Own Voice
    • Grieving Illusions
    • Living With Paradox
    • Transforming Illusions
    • Reference Notes
    • Index


    Kathleen Ritter, Craig O'Neill