Fleeing Fundamentalism: A Minister's Wife Examines Faithby Carlene Cross
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At a time when the distance between church and state is narrowing and the teaching of intelligent design is being proposed for our classrooms, it is startling and provocative to hear the reasoned voice of a dissident from inside the church. For Carlene Cross, arriving at this shift in belief was a long and torturous journey.
In Fleeing Fundamentalism, Cross looks back at the life that led her to marry a charismatic young man who appeared destined for greatness as a minister within the fundamentalist church. Their marriage, which began with great hope and promise, started to crumble when she realized that her husband had fallen victim to the same demons that had plagued his youth. When efforts to hold their family together failed, she left the church and the marriage, despite the condemnation of the congregation and the anger of many she had considered friends. Once outside, she realized that the secular world was not the seething cauldron of corruption and sin she had believed, and found herself questioning the underpinnings of the fundamentalist faith.
Here is an eloquent and compelling story of faith lost and regained. Certain to be controversial, it is also a brave and hopeful plea for greater tolerance and understanding.
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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What People are saying about this
"A telling account of what ails much contemporary religion...[Cross] expertly examines the most important theological issues of our time."—Bishop Cabell
"Fleeing Fundamentalism is an evolution—a revolution—of the spirit, an intelligent page-turner with a very human heart."—Thomas Orton, author of The Lost Glass Plates of Wilfred Eng
Meet the Author
Carlene Cross lives in Seattle, where she has worked as a college counselor and a producer for public television. She is the author of a previous work of nonfiction entitled The Undying West: A Chronicle of Montana’s Camas Prairie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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As a former fundamentalist, I am a bit suspicious of memoirs written by people who claim to have left fundamentalism behind! It's almost become a cliche: author grows up as a fundamentalist; author is oppressed and distressed by fundamentalists, and sets out to expose the nasty, judgmental, and hypocritical fundamentalists. The result is a bitter and angry polemic against fundamentalism that sheds much heat but little light. By contrast, Carlene Cross' book is a searingly honest but never bitter telling of her painful personal saga. She tells of growing up in her fundamentalist family, meeting her husband in Bible College, and then supporting him in his ministry as their marriage and church fell apart. For Cross, fleeing fundamentalism meant reaching out for a new understanding of faith and finding a new capacity for love and hope. I came away from reading her book with a deep appreciation for her honesty, her compassion for others -- and for her younger self -- and the humor and wisdom with which she confronted the difficulties of her past.