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NEW BOOK LAYS BARE A QUIET UNDERPROP OF CHILD ABUSE: "ST AUGUSTINE’S SIN"

New book dealing with religious education and clerical child abuse - ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

New book dealing with religious education and clerical child abuse - ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

4.4 out of 5 stars for ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN

4.4 out of 5 stars from the OnLineBookClub

This new work, tracing the roots of clerical child abuse, has been hailed by reviewers as ‘well researched’, ‘informative’ and ‘mind-opening’

CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, UNITED KINGDOM, July 13, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- In June 2023, the Church of England sacked the panel of experts who provided independent oversight of how it dealt with abuse. Yet in 2021 the UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse disclosed that 100 new cases of clerical abuse are being reported every year. Around the same time, an inquiry in France reported that children are more likely to be abused within Church settings than in state schools, holiday camps and sporting organisations.

Why is abuse more prevalent within a church than in other settings, and why is the Church so lax in addressing the issue? In his new book, one time altar boy Joe Baker, examines the effects of Christian teaching, and how feelings of guilt and shame were instilled in his young mind. An authority figure causing a child to feel guilt and shame is a documented method of child sexual grooming. Might this be an unwitting factor in cases of clerical child abuse?

This thought-provoking work traces the origins of clerical abuse all the way back to one of the most influential of Church Fathers, Saint Augustine of Hippo. The author explores how Augustine's belief in inherent human wickedness and sinfulness from birth may shape the culture within religious institutions, making children more vulnerable and abuse more forgivable. He questions the role of power dynamics and the concept of forgiveness, which often side-lines the needs of victims.

Here a primary school teacher paints a vivid description of present-day religious education lessons in faith schools, challenging the prevailing notion of Christianity as a benign influence. With a foreword by Alastair Lichten, Head of Education at the National Secular Society, “St Augustine’s Sin” sparks a vital discussion within the ongoing "God Debate" and breathes new life into popular religious critiques.

Hailed by reviewers as ‘well researched’, ‘informative’ and ‘mind-opening’, Joe Baker’s work offers a compelling analysis that fills an important gap on the bookshelves. "St Augustine’s Sin" invites readers to reassess their understanding of the relationship between Christian teaching and child abuse.

"St Augustine’s Sin: Why child abuse bedevils Christianity" is now available in all good bookstores and online, currently at discount, from Amazon.

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Joe Baker
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Courtesy of BBC News