Friday, December 19, 2008

Steve Nichols on What We Can Learn from Apostasy Lit

Steve Nichols has a helpful piece today on the proliferation of "apostasy lit"--"a genre, usually taking the form of a memoir, in which the protagonist reflects on and recants her Christian, usually of the fundamentalist variety, upbringing; may also include film." An excerpt:

Despite the predictability of characters, setting and plot of apostasy lit, and despite the grating self-assured stance of its author protagonists, apostasy lit is one of the most valuable genres for those who, despite all the potential pitfalls, actually take their Christianity seriously. What's more, apostasy lit is valuable for those Christian parents who care for their children and hope that their children embrace and not run away from the faith. Among the many potential teaching moments apostasy lit provides, two stand out: the warning against sternness or harshness and the warning against creating a stifling environment. And herein lies the lesson that should not be ignored by readers of apostasy lit. If harshness and sternness coupled with a stifling environment are what make a piece of literature apostasy lit, then those two may be guilty of causing the apostasy in the first place.
Read the whole thing.

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