Childhood Trauma and Religion
Benjamin Abelow, M.D.     abelow.religion [at]
I study how cultural patterns of childhood corporal punishment, abandonment, and neglect have shaped religious texts and traditions. My conclusions are contained in journal articles, book chapters, presentations to academic meetings, and a book manuscript in preparation. This work can -

  • contribute to our understanding of how religions developed and why they have persisted historically;
  • highlight an important commonality among seemingly disparate religious traditions;
  • clarify links between childhood pain and religious outlook;
  • shed light on a largely unrecognized motivation for religious violence, and potentially help ameliorate that violence.

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