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Book Review: When Religion Hurts You by Laura E. Anderson

Marsha Vaughn

Vol. 5, No. 1

Summer 2023

Pages: 169‒172

DOI: 10.33929/sherm.2023.vol5.no1.09


Also Available


Book Review

High Control Religion, Religious Trauma, Trauma, Purity Culture

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Rational Faith.png

Licensed psychotherapist, podcast host, and religious trauma survivor, Dr. Laura Anderson, has contributed a volume drawing from both her own experiences and trauma studies scholarship. Anderson avoids harsh and direct condemnation of high-control religions (HCRs) but, rather, describes the human experiences and biological explanations of lives immersed in fear, shame, and mistrust. Her book, When Religion Hurts You, will likely connect most with religious trauma survivors who have already left an HCR (or are on the way out) and with professionals unfamiliar with the specific biological and relational theories of trauma. Anderson provides cautious optimism, noting the time and effort needed to “live in healing bodies.”


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