Healing Spiritual Wounds
Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church
On Sale: 02/07/2017Enlarge Book Cover
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Healing Spiritual Wounds
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An effective plan to help those suffering from wounds inflicted by the church find spiritual healing and a renewed sense of faith.
Raised as a conservative Christian, minister and author Carol Howard Merritt discovered that the traditional institutions she grew up in inflicted great pain and suffering on others. Though she loved the spirituality the church provided, she knew that, because of sexism, homophobia, and manipulative religious politics, established religious institutions weren’t always holy or safe. Instead of offering refuge, these institutions have betrayed people’s hearts and souls. “People have suffered religious abuse,” she writes, “which can be different from physical injury or psychological trauma.”
Though participation and affiliation in traditional religious institutions is waning, many people still believe in God. Merritt contends that many leave the church because they have lost trust in the institution, not in God. Healing Spiritual Wounds addresses the church’s dichotomous image—as a safe space and as a dangerous place—and provides a way to restore personal faith and connection to God for those who have been hurt or betrayed by established institutions of faith. Merritt lays out a multistage plan for moving from pain to spiritual rebirth, from recovering theological and emotional shards to recovering communal wholeness.
Merritt does not sugarcoat the wrongs institutions long seen as trustworthy have inflicted on many innocent victims. Sympathetic, understanding, and deeply positive, she offers hope and a way to help them heal and reclaim the spiritual joy that can make them whole again.
- ISBN: 9780062392275
- ISBN 10: 0062392271
- Imprint: HarperOne
- On Sale: 02/07/2017
- Trimsize: 5.50 in (w) x 8.25 in (h) x 0.85 in (d)
- Pages: 240
- List Price: 25.99 USD
- BISAC1: RELIGION / Christian Life / Personal Growth
- BISAC2: SELF-HELP / Spiritual
- BISAC3: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Religious
“Merritt has done it again. Healing Spiritual Wounds shepherds me toward God. Merritt is the honest voice, the thoughtful voice, the inviting voice, the justice voice, the personable voice that my spirit has yearned to hear. I grow closer to God and humanity with each page.” - Edward J. Blum, co-author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America
“Carol Howard Merritt gives us a wise, gentle, and practical book for all those who have been hurt by their churches, but who seek healing in their lives and reconciliations with their faith communities.” - James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
“The church today is known more for creating wounds than healing them, and more people than ever are leaving faith behind as a result. Carol Howard Merritt has the right response-anyone who has been hurt by the church needs this book.” - Mike McHargue, author of Finding God in the Waves and host of The Liturgists Podcast and Ask Science Mike
“Merritt is an inspiring voice of strength, faith, and endurance and an exemplar of what it means to suffer and continue to serve. In Healing Spiritual Wounds, she shines through as an example of what it means to seek God in spite of the hurt and obstacles.” - Christian Piatt, author of postChristian and Leaving A-Holiness Behind
“An amazing resource… emotionally intense, beautifully written, and courageously honest, and the exercises are just what you need. Healing Spiritual Wounds helped me.” - Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
“Healing Spiritual Wounds provides validation and comfort for anyone feeling alone within or abandoned by the church. In this much-needed book, Merritt offers practical ways to explore the sources of our brokenness. A generous guide to reconnecting with a loving God.” - Meredith Gould, author of Desperately Seeking Spirituality: A Field Guide to Practice (Liturgical Press)
“Healing Spiritual Wounds is a gift of candid and caring space for those who have been hurt by the church, and Carol Howard Merritt is a wise and gentle guide through the complex work of spiritual recovery. Welcome to a deeper, healthier faith journey.” - Rachel G. Hackenberg is the author of Sacred Pause and Writing to God
“Merritt transfigures her own harrowing journey into wisdom for others. With the heart of a pastor and the skill of a healer, Merritt pairs moving testimony with thoughtful exercises for working through trauma. Courageous, cathartic, and deeply moving, this book is a balm for bruised believers.” - Katherine Willis Pershey, author of Any Day a Beautiful Change
“Carol Howard Merritt gently unspools the tightly wound messages of shame and guilt that strangle spirits and cause damage to body, soul and relationships. Merritt shows the reader how to unfurl into the open space of God’s great love. An invaluable tool for faith leaders and healers of all types.” - Ruth Everhart, author of Ruined and Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land
“Carol Howard Merritt offers a profoundly useful resource for reconciliation and rebirth. In artfully rendering the story of her life, Merritt invites others to look deeply at their own lives, and to redraw the lines of their belief, and their very selves. This book is a gift.” - Bromleigh McCleneghan, pastor and author of Good Christian Sex
“Substantive, beautiful, and deeply relevant in a time when many of us are trying to navigate a path of healing. I highly recommend this book to everyone who has ever set foot in a church, whether organized religion is a part of your life now or not.” - David LaMotte, author, songwriter, speaker
“Written with startling honesty . . . Merritt’s tender prose, interesting stories, and practical, workbook-based approach make this book invaluable for those working in what Pope Francis calls ‘the field hospital’ of the church.” - Publishers Weekly
“Sexism, homophobia and church politics can cause deep spiritual wounds, agony and pain. Carol Howard Merritt, through honest reflection and faithful analysis, helps her readers towards spiritual renewal and restoration. This is a powerful and compelling must-read book for a fragmented world longing for love, hope, wholeness and healing.” - Grace Ji-Sun Kim, author of Embracing The Other
“This book is joyful, but it’s also sobering, for it’s a reminder of how deeply religious practices can wound the spirit, and just how many people are still out there, right now, being pierced by cruelty in the name of God.” - Spirituality and Health
“If your story includes being hurt by the church, or by religious people, this book might be just the balm you’ve been looking for.” - Off the Page
“For anyone who has known the wounding that can come from those speaking and acting in God’s name, this book is a must. In other words, if you have ever been to church or know someone who has, this book is for you. Read. And find healing for your wounds.” - Patheos
“Maybe you’re like me. You love the church and have never left it. But you persist in belief that honesty is the only path to truth and confession opens the door to growth. If so, you need Carol Howard Merritt’s wonderful new book, Healing Spiritual Wounds.” - Religion News Service
“Merritt’s book has been so welcome – it’s a timely template for personal reflection, and for reconciling the quest for spiritual fulfillment with our deeply flawed institutions and the people within them.” - Salon
“Merritt explains that churches that teach the notion that God is vengeful can be damaging to people in the pews. . . . In her book, Merritt uses a pastoral approach to talk about individuals she has encountered who have suffered from spiritual abuse.” - America