Written by Cami Ostman (Editor) , Susan Tive
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.
Named one of the Washington Post's Top 50 Notable Nonfiction Books of 2013
“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
About the Author
Cami Ostman's first book, "Second Wind: One Woman's Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents," was published by Seal Press. She is a weekly contributor to "The Spirited Woman" and has been featured in "O, The Oprah Magazine; Adventures Northwest;" and "Fitness" magazine. 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.
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