Secularization and the Perseverance of the Saints

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I have continued to ponder Phyllis Tickles’ thesis on the 500-year-cycle of transformation of the church….This interview with British sociological academic Linda Woodhead, specialising in the sociology of religion, gives some insights into the last century of changes in religious beliefs, practices, and influence on society.

Adversity Becomes an Ally

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One common theme that is expressed by women coming into recovery is “avoidance of conflict”. They have often observed significant conflict in life- parents’ domestic violence, verbal or physical abuse directed against them or siblings, sexual violence, financial abuse by “friends”, abandonment, etc. The usual “fight or flight” instinct may have been shorted out so that their default becomes immobilization or self-destruction. Resilience, overused to exhaustion and worn to a frazzle, fails altogether, like metal fatigue, The absence of personal responsibility and a sense of powerlessness also means that they are usually unable or unwilling to hold others accountable, too. Unless they regain the ability to stand up for themselves, doing so in the context of what is right, according to agreed upon rules and values, and within God’s will, they will continue to either be used by others or use others, an addiction far worse than chemical dependence.