“One of the most intriguing developments in modern American religion has been the increasing numbers of those who have lost their faith—not only the person in the pew but also the person in the pulpit. Caught in the Pulpit tells the entangled stories of these conflicted leaders of the faithful, first-hand accounts that are fascinating, eye-opening, and filled with pathos. This expanded second edition is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the current state of religion and the claims of faith.” —Bart D. Ehrman, distinguished professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author, Misquoting Jesus
“The new edition of Caught in the Pulpit extends and reinforces the message of the first: that many who preach religion do not themselves believe what they preach, for the good reason that they have more insight into its vacuity than those to whom they preach. Some are tragically trapped in this hypocrisy, some choose to keep living the lie: but knowing this adds to our sense of the lie that is religion itself. This is an important book, because it reveals an important truth.” —A.C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities London and author, The Good Book: A Humanist Bible
"Reading Caught in the Pulpit is like listening in on intimate conversations, even confessions, of clergy who doubt the very beliefs they are paid to teach and support. Dennett and LaScola address their subjects with both skill and compassion, yielding expert philosophical and sociological analysis. A fascinating read." —Mary Johnson, author, An Unquenchable Thirst
“People often ask me, ‘How could you become an atheist when you were a pastor?’ I always answer, ‘Exactly by being a pastor!’ . . . This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the process of losing faith. Though these stories are about clergy, their feelings and experiences will resonate for anyone who has been down this road." —Ryan J. Bell, former pastor and writer, Year Without God
"With care and sympathy, Dennett and LaScola bring light to some darker corners of the religious life.” —Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University and author, Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism
"Profound, honest, and revealing. I was also going to write 'surprising,' but I am not surprised. As a former preacher myself (who has since abandoned supernatural beliefs), I know exactly what is going through the minds of the clergy who are struggling with faith and reason. What I most admire about this book is the careful, scientific approach to the topic. . . . I know I am biased, but that does not mean this is not a GREAT book!" —Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and author, Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning
"This book provides remarkable insight into a silently growing demographic." —Hemant Mehta, editor, FriendlyAtheist.com
--This text refers to an alternate
What is it like to be a preacher who can no longer believe the creed?
In confidential interviews, clergy reveal how their lives of service are overshadowed by hypocrisy, as they contemplate taking a leap from their faith. As religious leaders struggle to adapt to the new transparency of the information age, the phenomenon of non-believing clergy portends surprising developments in the future of religious belief.