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Studies in Religious Trauma: Causes, Manifestations, and Treatments

Editors: Darren M. Slade and Maggie Parker

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Religious Trauma



Religious Studies

GCRR Press is releasing a large-scale publication that will offer an interdisciplinary and scientific examination of the origins, impact, and treatment options of religious trauma. The intended audience for this publication will be therapeutic practitioners, psychological researchers, and sufferers of religious trauma. Currently, this textbook-style resource will include sections on:

1) Why the study of religious trauma is important;

2) Historical, social, and cultural aspects of religious trauma;

3) Psychological and clinical methods for studying religious trauma;

4) Issues in defining religious trauma;

5) Causes and triggers of religious trauma;

6) Physical, psychological, interpersonal, and emotional manifestations of religious trauma; and,

7) Effective and ineffective treatments for religious trauma.

Each contributor will provide research and best practices from multiple fields of study that will aid in legitimizing religious trauma as an important mental health topic. As a research-driven institute, GCRR recognizes the need to provide mental health professionals, as well as religious specialists, with scientifically-derived, factual data in order to begin work on understanding and then treating religious trauma.

Each contributing author will complete their research using the most currently accepted, discipline-specific methodologies, including quantifiable sociological data, qualitative psychoanalyses, and socio-historical contextual examinations. Some of the specific methodologies that will be included in the research are somatic trauma therapy, polyvagal theory, a combination of individual and group therapy, rational emotive behavioral therapy, and music therapy. Other unique contributions will include the formation of a diagnostic Acute Stress Disorder Interview variation to help determine whether a patient is currently suffering from religious trauma.

Some objectives objectives of the study include:

~examining the relationship between religious contexts and trauma symptoms to allow for quantitative ~predictions of clinical psychopathology related to religious trauma;

~informing the clinical assessment of trauma-exposed individuals by providing an accurate and objective quantitative estimation of religious psychopathology;

~providing professional counselors and therapists a better understanding of the neurological effects of religiously-related suffering and how best to treat victims or religious trauma;

~utilizing a national sociological survey to identify the number of people in the U.S. who suffer from religious trauma;

~creating a diagnostic tool for use in clinical settings in order to help identify patients who suffer from religious trauma;

~and publishing the results in both textbook and peer-reviewed academic journal formats for widespread dissemination and utilization in research.

Broader impacts of the study may also include:

~providing the first clinical definition of “religious trauma” from a specialized committee of experts and practitioners in the field of trauma research, which helps distinguish it from other diagnosable afflictions like PTSD;

~taking an interdisciplinary approach by involving professional sociologists and religion specialists to elaborate on the historical, social, and cultural aspects of religious trauma;

~exploring many of the physical, psychological, interpersonal, and emotional manifestations of religious trauma with special attention to differences in children and adult sufferers;

~examining the role that power differentials have on marginalized groups, such as racial minorities, women, and the LGBTQ+ community;

~and establishing guidelines in diagnosing and promoting best-practice treatments for patients suffering from religious trauma.

Anyone interested and qualified to contribute are encouraged to submit a CV and abstract proposal on or before the deadline.

Proposal Deadline:

September 30, 2021

Abstract Word Limit: 

Approx. 200-500 Words

Submission Word/Page Limit:

2,000-8,000 words (this range is flexible)

Rough Draft Submission Due Date:

January 1, 2022

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