Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recommended: Ruth Krall's "Religious Leader Sexual Abuse and Institutional Clericalism: A Resources Bibliography, History, Context, Analysis"

While I'm recommending to you theological resources like James Alison's article on the gifts LGBT Catholics bring to the church today, I'd like to point you to an extremely valuable resource that Ruth Krall recently uploaded to her Enduring Space website. This is a "resources bibliography" for those seeking to understand and read about "religious leader sexual abuse and institutional clericalism."

Ruth has spent years studying these topics (and actively involved in the conversation about them in the Mennonite church). It's very generous of her to offer the fruits of her years of labor to others, via the bibliography. 

This is a well-organized resource that gathers material under headings including "Documentaries," "Historical Context," "Journalists' Reports," "Autobiographical Reflections by Priests and Former Priests," "Autobiographical Narratives by Survivors of Religious and Sexual Abuse," "Fiction," and "Analysis." A helpful collation of web-based resources is also appended to the bibliography. 

As Ruth's introduction notes, the more widely one reads about these issues, the more one reaches the conclusion that the clergy sexual abuse crisis is present in almost all Christian denominations, and that "clergy sexual violation . . . crosses denominational lines or even inter-religious lines." And so a strength of this bibliography is that it includes resources from Catholic (or former Catholic) commentators including Tom Doyle, Richard Sipe, Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, Matthew Fox, Patrick Wall, and Jason Berry, as well as resources from the Jewish, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Mennonite traditions.

Anyone interested in the critically important discussion of sexual abuse by religious leaders and the institutional clericalism that invariably lies behind such abuse should find this bibliography an invaluable resource.

The photo of Ruth Krall is from her website.

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