Church Abuse of Clergy

A Radical New Understanding

By Gene Fowler

Church Abuse of Clergy

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781532661433
  • Pages: 230
  • Publication Date: 3/9/2020
  • Retail Price: $28.00
Web Price: $22.40
Web Price: $22.40

Church Abuse of Clergy

A Radical New Understanding

By Gene Fowler

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532661433
  • Pages: 230
  • Publication Date: 3/9/2020
  • Retail Price: $28.00
Web Price: $22.40

About-

Imagine receiving a shocking email from a church member stating that you, the pastor, have mishandled church funds and that you should resign for the good of the congregation. Soon you discover that the church member sent the email to many other church members. Additional lies will follow until the fateful day comes when the members vote to fire you, or the bishop dismisses you, or you resign for sheer survival. You are experiencing church abuse of clergy, which is the topic of this book.



Clergy will gain an entirely new understanding of church abuse of clergy that afflicts many pastors and their loved ones by reading this book. The view of church abuse of clergy being presented is a new paradigm that challenges older explanations of the church abuse.



This book shows that clergy must begin collaborating in order to discover effective solutions to the church abuse of clergy problem. Clergy must become empowered to confront the church at all levels and support one another in the face of church abuse of clergy. A very toxic ministry situation exists throughout the United States and internationally, which must be challenged!

Endorsements & Reviews-

“Gene Fowler meticulously surveys pastoral literature on the abuse of ministers by their flocks and finds it lacking. Abandoning the usual focus on pathologies of individual parishioners, he draws on dynamic group psychology to propose a devastating alternative, namely, that entire congregations unconsciously propagate malevolence. In this stunning work, besieged clergy will find scholarship not only at its most rigorous but also most compassionate.”

—Robert C. Dykstra, Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary



“Gene Fowler not only tackles a tough issue; he brilliantly transforms the discussion, revealing oversights and limits in the dominant literature and its language (e.g., ‘clergy killing’) and drawing on group psychology for refreshingly new understandings of congregational dynamics and the need for clergy solidarity. All told, an incredibly helpful resource capable of making a genuine difference.”

—Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, Vanderbilt Divinity School



“A clergy mentor once confided, ‘I am burnt out and wish I could leave the ministry, but my family will need retirement funds to exist.’ In less than a year, this friend died from cancer. Ah, to have had Fowler’s book to fathom my friend’s painful journey. I would have gathered clergy friends to read this precise, heartfelt work, which knows a pastor and their family are one. Prevention of ‘clergy abuse’ is the work of a loving gathering.”

—George Jacobs, President, Davidson Clergy Program



“Pastors going through or having experienced church abuse will find much wisdom in Gene Fowler’s Church Abuse of Clergy. So too will congregations who have endured systemic pastoral crises. Church abuse is not a synonym for church conflict. And the roots of church abuse are far deeper than a few dissatisfied members. Pastors, congregational leaders, judicatory executives, and ministry committees will all benefit from a careful and judicious reading of Fowler’s analysis and recommendations.”

—Gary S. Eller, President, Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation



“Gene Fowler posits that irrational abuse of clergy by congregations is often the result of an unresolved earlier congregational trauma. Drawing on the work of group psychotherapist Earl Hopper he posits that clergy abuse is not simply an interpersonal conflict. This hypothesis will undoubtedly shift how religious leaders think about and work to ameliorate or prevent this difficult dilemma.”

—Frances Unsell, organizational consultant, psychoanalyst, and Presbyterian minister



“Nearly every colleague that I have known in my thirty years of ministry has either experienced elements of abuse during their ministry or has known someone else who has. Finally, we have a resource that deeply and uniquely explores the violence done to clergy and their families as they serve the church. Church Abuse of Clergy should be required reading for every pastor, seminarian, and those who care about them.”

—Deborah Fae Swift, Pastor, South Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY

Contributors-

Gene Fowler

Bio(s)-

Gene Fowler is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He also is a pastoral theologian whose PhD is from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has authored several books about pastoral care in the congregational setting.

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