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Table of Contents for
Leaving Fundamentalism: Personal Stories, edited by G. Elijah Dann

Foreword | Thomas Moore

Acknowledgements


An Introduction to Christian Fundamentalism | G. Elijah Dann

Rapture, Community, and Individualist Hope | Joseph Simons

From There to Here | L.A. Livingston

Fantastic Voyage: Surviving Charismatic Fundamentalism | David L. Rattigan

My Mother, My Church | Margaret Steel Farrell

The Ministry Revisited | Keith Dixon

Looking Back at Sodom: My Evangelical and Lesbian Testimonies | Julie Rak

The Slippery Slope of Theology | Jeffrey W. Robbins

Life Stages | Jacob Shelley

“More Catholic Than Thou”: One Man’s Journey Through Roman Catholic Fundamentalism | Andrea Lorenzo Molinari

Inching Along | Beverley Bryant

From Fear to Faith: My Journey into Evangelical Humanism | Glenn A. Robitaille

The Jesus Lizard | James Fieser

“Are You a ‘Real’ Christian”? | Leia Minaker

The Naked Empress, Queen of Fundamentalism | Anonymous

Confessions of an Ex-Fundamentalist | G. Elijah Dann


Contributors

Beverley Bryant has a lifetime of experience both within and without the evangelical community. A registered nurse by profession, she spent two years doing part-time work toward her master’s degree in divinity before completing her master of education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. She is working on a novel that’s still in its early stages and spends time reading, critiquing, and enjoying the work of fellow writers in her writing group. With her partner she lives in Mississauga, Ontario, where she works, practises karate, and enjoys the challenges of raising teenagers.

G. Elijah Dann received the PhD in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo, and the doctorat en théologie from the Université de Strasbourg, France. He is co-author of Philosophy: A New Introduction (Wadsworth Press, 2005), and author of After Rorty: The Possibilities for Ethics and Religious Belief (Continuum Press, 2006). He has taught in departments of religion, philosophy, and health sciences for universities in southern Ontario, most recently as lecturer for the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is currently Visiting Research Fellow for the Centre for Studies in Religion and Culture at the University of Victoria.

Overwhelmed by a mystical experience at the age of twenty, Keith Dixon took it to be a call to the ministry. Theological training gave him skills as a clergyman, but the primal experience remained a mystery. He lasted five years before abandoning his congregation and his ordination. Doubting basic Christian teachings, he declared himself agnostic. Denial eventually melted into the exploration of psychic phenomena, gurus, shamanism, and meditation. Buddhism’s world view most closely matched his experience. He took Refuge but chafed at some of the rigidity in Buddhist practice. The mystery of fifty years ago remains unsolved for him, but the subsequent journey has taught him an openness that permits a new respect for what he cast aside.

James Fieser is a professor of philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He received his BA from Berea College (1980) and his MA and PhD from Purdue University’s Department of Philosophy (1983, 1986). After teaching briefly at the University of Rio Grand and Christopher Newport University, he arrived at UT Martin in 1993. He is author, co-author, and editor of seven textbooks, including Moral Philosophy through the Ages (McGraw-Hill, 2001) and Philosophical Questions (Oxford University Press, 2005). He edited the ten-volume Early Responses to Hume (Thoemmes Press, 1999–2003) and has published articles on various ethical topics. He is founder and general editor of the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy website, at http://www.iep.utm.edu.

Lori-Ann Livingston wanted to be two things when she was eleven: a jockey and a writer. The first was achieved by riding her arthritic pony, the second is still her passion. She currently works as a communications and marketing associate for the City of Kitchener. Previously a journalist in Canada and the UK, she wrote for a national Irish weekly newspaper and British music and religious publications. She is also the executive director of Latitudes Storytelling Festival, a festival of diversity and stories. She lives in Kitchener with her Irish husband, preschooler son, baby daughter, and a dog named Sally.

Leia Minaker grew up in southern Ontario, the second child and eldest of four girls in a family of seven. She recently moved to Edmonton with her husband to pursue her master’s degree in health promotion at the University of Alberta. She enjoys her program and hopes to follow her master’s with a PhD in health studies. Leia is particularly passionate about social equality, economic and environmental justice, and policies that promote population health. In her limited free time, Leia enjoys camping, running, discussion with friends, reading, and spending time with her husband.

Andrea Lorenzo Molinari is the president of Blessed Edmund Rice School for Pastoral Ministry, a satellite of Barry University, in Miami, Florida.He received his PhD from Marquette University (New Testament and Early Christianity, 1996). He is author of three books: The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (NHC 6.1) (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 2000); ‘I never knew the man’: The Coptic Act of Peter (Papyrus Berolinensis 8502.4) (Paris: Éditions Peeters, 2000); and Climbing the Dragon’s Ladder: The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006). In addition, he has published numerous articles related to early Christianity.

Julie Rak is an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She is the author of Negotiated Memory: Doukhobor Autobiographical Discourse (UBC Press, 2004) and the editor of Auto/biography in Canada: Critical Directions (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2005). With Jeremy Popkin, she edited a collection of essays by Philippe LeJeune, On Diary (University of Hawaii Press, 2008), and with Andrew Gow she edited Mountain Masculinity: The Life and Writing of Nello “Tex” Vernon-Wood, 1911–1938 (University of Athabasca Press, 2008). She is writing a book about popular autobiography in North America.

David L. Rattigan was born in Vancouver, BC, and grew up in Liverpool, England, where he now lives and works as a freelance writer. He has a degree in theology from the University of Manchester and is a qualified teacher of secondary religious education. Dave is passionately involved in local arts and music, and has been an active member of his local Anglican parish since returning to Liverpool in 2003. In 2005 he founded LeavingFundamentalism.org, an online resource “for surviving the journey out of conservative Christianity.” Another major interest is film, particularly British horror of the 1950s and ‘60s, and he enjoys an occasional foray into linguistics.

Jeffrey W. Robbins teaches religion and philosophy at Lebanon Valley College in central Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and two children. He received his BA from Baylor University, a M.Div. from Texas Christian University, and a PhD in religion from Syracuse University.He is the author of two books in philosophical theology, Between Faith and Thought: An Essay on the Ontotheological Condition (2003) and In Search of a Non-Dogmatic Theology (2004). He is the editor of After the Death of God (2007) and The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken (2008).

Glenn A. Robitaille was raised Roman Catholic and ordained through the Brethren in Christ Church. Early on he abandoned dogmatic theology and moved to a more inclusive, multifaith perspective. He received his master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Ashland Theological Seminary and Vision International University, respectively. He is a pioneer in the field of Internet-based counselling and a successful church planter. Glenn is a contributing author in the book A Peace Reader (Evangel Press, 2002), and has published regularly in various magazines and journals. A father of five, he resides in Midland, Ontario, with his wife, Debra.

Jacob J. Shelley was born a fourth-generation Pentecostal into a family of pastors past and present. His father was a pastor, and several of his brothers will likely pursue a life in the ministry. For many years he thought that he too would be a pastor, but instead he entered the world of academia. He has completed a BA in religious studies and a master’s in theological studies. Although currently in law school, he aspires to complete a PhD. He currently resides in Edmonton with his wife.

Joseph Simons became an evangelical Christian as an adult, abandoning the Roman Catholic practice of his parents. After a long recovery from a nearly fatal accident, he went to bible college. Upon graduation he did not become a pastor but worked at various jobs—including truck driver and group-home counsellor—before moving into writing fiction. He is the author of the novel Under a Living Sky. He works with special-needs children in a Catholic junior high school and attends an Anglican cathedral—the pipe organ being the main draw. He believes in generous-hearted communities, whatever the creed, and values beauty found and goodness lived in a precarious world.

After obtaining a degree in English from the University of Waterloo, Margaret Steel Farrell began her career in corporate writing, where she focused primarily on employee communications and marketing in the financial services industry. She is a freelance writer in addition to her 9-to-5, belongs to a local writing group, and recently edited her aunts memoir of life in southwestern Ontario in the 1930s. With her son, Margaret lives in Kitchener, Ontario, where, in addition to writing, she enjoys creative pursuits such as dance and voice-over work for local radio commercials.