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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

A first-hand account by an alter boy explains why abuse proves more likely in church settings than in state schools, holiday camps and sporting organisations

CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, UNITED KINGDOM, July 16, 2023/ -- The latest allegations of abuse by Matt Redman, at the revered ‘Soul Survivor’ Church in Watford, follow a pattern documented throughout the Christian world and up to the present time. When a safeguarding investigation was announced in May, the Church of England responded by sacking the entire panel of experts who provided independent oversight of how it dealt with abuse.

• In 2021 an inquiry in France reported that children are more likely to be abused within Church settings than state schools, holiday camps and sporting organisations.
• Around the same time, our own UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse disclosed that 100 new cases of clerical abuse are being reported every year.
• The UK Inquiry reported “a grudging and unsympathetic attitude to victims” and failures (by the Church) “contributed to more children experiencing actual abuse and many others being exposed to the risk of sexual abuse.”

Why is abuse more prevalent within church settings than elsewhere, and why is the Church so lax in addressing the issue?

In St Augustine’s Sin, Joe Baker, tells the story of how, as a vulnerable altar boy, he was psychologically and physically abused by Catholic priests. He examines the effects of Christian teaching, and how feelings of guilt and shame were instilled in his young mind. Chapters by a primary school teacher examine with rigorous scrutiny how teaching in faith schools today might affect a child's vulnerability.

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?

The author explores Augustine’s teaching and suggests this Saint's ideas might play a more influential role in child abuse and adult mental well-being than has generally been recognised in mainstream social science. This thought-provoking book fills a gap in the shelf, lifting the lid on a story of abuse and religious indoctrination which continues to this day.

Hailed by reviewers as ‘well researched’, ‘informative’ and ‘mind-opening’, "St Augustine’s Sin" offers a compelling insight into the current crisis within the church. With around 400 links to citations and external cross-references, the author invites readers to reassess their understanding of the relationship between faith school 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.

About the authors:
A professional engineer by training, Joe Baker served as altar boy and chorister while attending boarding schools where he faced abuse. With the Vatican decrying critics of the church as ‘Friends of the Devil’, he thought back to the drill and doctrine of his schooldays.

His writing about Christianity has been described as ‘informative’ ‘inspiring’ and ‘outrageous.’ Having spent much of his professional life writing for technical journals, Joe’s prose tends to be crisp and taut.

Contributor, Lorna Graham, a teacher for 26 years, brings faith schools to life describing her efforts to deliver a critically conscious, dialogic education to her pupils.

More on the author's website


Joe Baker
Joe Baker
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