Saturday, March 20, 2010

Non-believing Clergy

Daniel Dennett recently finished his study on clergymen who have become non-believers while still being the pastor of a church. I read the paper yesterday and it was quite eye-opening to read about their mindset and how they justify their continuation of pastoral duties while not believing the words they preach. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might want to read it (which I recommend you do) so I won't talk about the details of the paper. The de-conversion process for all of the 5 clergymen interviewed was a gradual process that traced itself back to when they started to learn more about their faith, and for most of them started when they went to seminary. I suspect it is the same for most people who leave their faiths. Not many people wake up one day and say to themselves, "Ok, I don't believe this anymore".

The Study is available on the Washington post's website HERE


  1. why does faiths have an apostrophe? i'm actually really interested in your reasoning regarding this grammatical point.

  2. typo, I didn't proof read it. It's not like I wrote a word which is similar in spelling and completely different in meaning and usage, like fairy instead of faith. The your/you're/their/there/they're phenomenon is exactly like the same, using the wrong word that is similar in spelling but completely different in meaning and usage.

  3. Oh, and I fixed the typo now for anyone who is trying to find it now.

  4. This kind of thing really doesn't surprise me. It takes a lot of guts to admit your faith was wrong and find a new career after spending lots of years and money in seminary and as a clergy member. In the real world, a Masters of Divinity doesn't get you very far. And I think they all know that.