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Old 02-02-2014, 01:16 PM
 
501 posts, read 837,638 times
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I have been toying with the idea of authoring a book for several years. I want to write on how fundamental Christian education has detrimental effects on those who experience it, especially when it encroaches into the university level. I attended a fundamental Baptist school for 6 years, and I can honestly say that I am only now recovering from the effects of the experience (I am 25).

I would LOVE input from anyone who attended a fundamental Christian school. I would also appreciate input from anyone who attended a fundamental bible college, such as BJU, Moody Bible, PCC, etc.

Lastly, does this subject seem interesting to anyone else?

 
Old 02-02-2014, 01:32 PM
 
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You would need more than anecdotal evidence for such a book. You would need to do a lot of research and review of the literature in fields like medicine, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, addiction and recovery, social work, and primary and secondary education. You would also need to research the opposing side and be able to rebut it with hard data.

Anecdotes are fine if you want to use them as case studies to illustrate your data, but a book like that has to have the science and research behind it, or else it will just come off looking like an agenda-driven political screed.

However, if you could do that, and take the years of researching and interviewing both your case study subjects and the authors of peer-reviewed studies, there could be a market for it, if it hasn't already been done.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 01:43 PM
 
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Lilac110 hit on a key point.

Example: George Bush, the epitome of dumb fundy christianity in action, suppressed stem cell research for a decade. How much progress in medical research was suppressed in this field. How much pain and suffering did this delay cause? How many lives lost?

Not to mention the 100,000 to 1,000,000 deaths caused because he believed the voices in his head were god telling him to start a war.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 01:54 PM
 
Location: New Jersey, USA
618 posts, read 452,462 times
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Hello jamesharden.

While you didn't ask for it specifically, let me give you some input from someone who has written a book. There is a writing forum on C-D (which I don't really visit) so I won't get into technique, which is better discussed there.

Lilac110 makes a good point about research, if that is the type of book you intend to write. That is to say, if your intent is to prove that the fundamentalist environment is damaging to people.

Notwithstanding, I would not dismiss the relevance of your personal story. You don't have to write about people, just write about how the environment was damaging to you.

Personally I write novels, choosing to fictionalize my struggles with faith - placing my own evolving or conflicting thoughts and feelings into different characters or amalgamating various others into a smaller number of characters. I've found it very therapeutic. None of that will save you from having to do research (for settings, historical accuracy, etc.) but it is a far cry from writing a scholarly work.

Writing a halfway decent book is a huge undertaking. A labor of love is a labor nonetheless

Thanks.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 02:00 PM
 
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This is something that I want to do for myself (in a cathartic way), and maybe others who have been through a similar experience.

I have a degree in History, and am well versed in research methods, citing sources, etc. I wanted to format my work similar to that of Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. I don't expect it to get published, I don't even know if I would pursue that route.

I just wanted to hear other peoples experiences, and see how they paralleled mine.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,082,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameshardin View Post
I have been toying with the idea of authoring a book for several years. I want to write on how fundamental Christian education has detrimental effects on those who experience it, especially when it encroaches into the university level. I attended a fundamental Baptist school for 6 years, and I can honestly say that I am only now recovering from the effects of the experience (I am 25).

I would LOVE input from anyone who attended a fundamental Christian school. I would also appreciate input from anyone who attended a fundamental bible college, such as BJU, Moody Bible, PCC, etc.

Lastly, does this subject seem interesting to anyone else?
Moody, the now-defunct Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, and others like them, are not universities, but "bible institutes". They never made pretenses to be universities and regard themselves more like technical or trade schools for training pastors, ministers of music, and support personnel such as missionary aviators. I think you'd be wasting your time including that type of school in the mix because people who go to them know full well what they are doing. Such schools are not state accredited and their "academic credits" are transferrable, if at all, usually only to 1 or 2 other schools with similar doctrinal statements. Students know that going in.

Of more interest (to me, anyway) would be the experience of graduates of fundamentalist high schools or home schools or who pursue their undergrad education at a fundamentalist college and then try to make the transition to the Real World, either of work or graduate studies.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 03:20 PM
 
501 posts, read 837,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Moody, the now-defunct Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, and others like them, are not universities, but "bible institutes". They never made pretenses to be universities and regard themselves more like technical or trade schools for training pastors, ministers of music, and support personnel such as missionary aviators. I think you'd be wasting your time including that type of school in the mix because people who go to them know full well what they are doing. Such schools are not state accredited and their "academic credits" are transferrable, if at all, usually only to 1 or 2 other schools with similar doctrinal statements. Students know that going in.

Of more interest (to me, anyway) would be the experience of graduates of fundamentalist high schools or home schools or who pursue their undergrad education at a fundamentalist college and then try to make the transition to the Real World, either of work or graduate studies.
I should not have used the world "university" . When I was in high school, PCC would come with their gospel choir every few months and advertise their institute. They made it perfectly clear that they were not accredited, but after all, god will take care of you since you went to his school. I had a friend go there, and they have separate elevators and hallways for men and women. The segregation there is insane. My high school was not accredited either, so I ended up in community college for my first two years.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,950 posts, read 18,566,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameshardin View Post
I have been toying with the idea of authoring a book for several years. I want to write on how fundamental Christian education has detrimental effects on those who experience it, especially when it encroaches into the university level.

Make it a novel, that way you can avoid any lawsuits from fundamentalists who do not find their portrayals flattering. You write a first person narrative relating the saga of a bright young person trapped in a world of religious insanity, finally escaping to the rational world at the end. It becomes a best seller, you go on talk shows, do a national book signing tour and sell the rights to the novel to a movie studio who them hires you to do the screenplay. You submit what you think is an authentic expression of the book and they return it with a few suggestions for tweaking the story to widen its appeal for movie audiences.

Then you re-submit the saga of a bright young person trapped in a world of religious insanity, who finally escapes to the rational world at the end...and is also a vampire.
 
Old 02-02-2014, 05:53 PM
 
39,062 posts, read 10,837,135 times
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Problem there is that, while a novel may escape writs because 'It's only a story', what it argues looks like just an accusation, based on personal prejudices.

I'd guess our OP wanted his book to be taken more seriously, making a point with validated research.

How about if he decided just what he wanted to write about and then invited contributions (Online, perhaps) from anyone who had a relevant story?

I sometimes think that an anthology of deconversion stories would be a good read.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 02-02-2014 at 06:27 PM..
 
Old 02-02-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,950 posts, read 18,566,118 times
Reputation: 18673
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post

I sometimes think that an anthology of deconversion stories would be a good read.
We already have that here for free. Here are some thread titles from the last few months.

When did you announce you were an atheist/agnostic to your family?

Admitting agnosticism while living in Bible belt

How does family treat you since you're an atheist? Do they know?

Atheists and Agnostics-were you ever religious? Do you come from a religious family? What made you atheist/agnostic?

How many of you were once religious?

Does Anyone Really Get How Hard it is to go From theism to Atheism?
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