Beyond Belief addresses what happens when women of extreme religions decide to walk away. Editors Susan Tive (a former Orthodox Jew) and Cami Ostman (a de-converted fundamentalist born-again Christian) have compiled a collection of powerful personal stories written by women of varying ages, races, and religious backgrounds who share one commonality: they’ve all experienced and rejected extreme religions.
Covering a wide range of religious communities—including Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Calvinist, Moonie, and Jehovah’s Witness—and containing contributions from authors like Julia Scheeres (Jesus Land), the stories in Beyond Belief reveal how these women became involved, what their lives were like, and why they came to the decision to eventually abandon their faiths. The authors shed a bright light on the rigid expectations and misogyny so often built into religious orthodoxy, yet they also explain the lure—why so many women are attracted to these lifestyles, what they find that’s beautiful about living a religious life, and why leaving can be not only very difficult but also bittersweet.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
As a writer, editor, and researcher for more than 14 years, Susan Tive has worked on on several nonfiction titles, including Faith and Feminism and Rachel’s Bag, and on a variety of academic articles exploring psychology, feminism, and religion.
They both live in Bellingham, WA.
Table of Contents
In the Beginning
Church Bodies Naomi J. Williams 2
Direct Line to God Cami Ostman 16
Beaten by Devotion Huda Al-Marashi 25
Baptizing the Annas Caitlin Constantine 35
Uniforms Leah Lax 47
Seducing God Joshunda Victoria Sanders 62
Show Me the Way Elise Brianne Curtin 74
Swan Sister Yolande Elise Brener 84
Turning Twelve Lucia Greenhouse 100
Touch Elise Glassman 111
Body Language Pamela Helberg 126
A Mother in Israel Stephanie Durden Edwards 137
Poisonous Promises Grace Peterson 146
Tilapia Mikveh Susan Tive 162
Witness Melanie Hoffert 170
Eva Leila Khan 182
White Lie Nikki Smith 195
Always Leaving Donna M. Johnson 212
Separation Colleen Haggerty 222
Dirty Girl Erin Seaward-Hiatt 230
Can I Get a Witness? Elizabeth Taylor-Mead 245
Lucky Cat Kyria Abrahams 256
Church of the Snake Carolyn Briggs 265
The Imperceptible Head Shake Julia Scheeres 278
Duct Tape and Baling Wire Valerie Tarico 286
Nun Hands Mary Johnson 293
What People are Saying About This
“These women share the terror they experienced because they dared to read Judy Blume, or disagreed that feminism is Satan’s tool, or had sex outside of marriage, or refused to believe that reciting verses from their holy scripture would solve every one of life’s problems. Their brave, aching stories reveal a new truth.”
Leora Tanenbaum, author of Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality
“With a bold eye for the tragic and ridiculous, these spot-on testimonies by women cast a penetrating light on their pilgrimages to Planet Religion in search of meaning and sanctuary, trudging through the sloughs of inequity and weirdness to reach, with luck, the get-me-the-hell-out-of-here exit."
Tova Reich, author of My Holocaust
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book offers some wonderful snippets of insight into the lives of many women who have experienced religion in many different ways in their lives. While I commend the authors and editors on this idea of compilation, each story stops short. Just when I got interested in the story teller's journey, stop...no more. I want to know what happened! Did they actually leave their religion? Somtimes that wasn't even clear. Every great story has closure. These, unfortunately, had little or no closure and left me very dissatisfied as a reader.