Dr. Linda Mercadante is a Distinguished Research Professor, Emerita, Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She is the founder of HealthyBeliefs – HealthySpirit, a member of the Scioto Valley Presbytery, and an active participant in many professional groups including The American Academy of Religion and The Workgroup on Constructive Theology. She is a prolific author of five books and more than 100 articles. She lectures internationally, conducts seminars for a wide variety of audiences, and teaches on a broad range of topics including: the spiritual but not religious movement, addiction recovery, gender and theology, faith and film, and spiritual memoir writing. She was named a Luce Scholar for her work examining the beliefs and practices of today’s “Spiritual but not Religious.” The resulting book, Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious, (Oxford University Press) has been featured on NBCs The Today Show, in The New York Times, and in many other media outlets.
I have been interviewing thirty persons, mostly forcibly-terminated professors from Protestant and Catholic institutions, and several professionals who work with them. Their stories demonstrate a stunning depth of disillusionment. The majority of these often-ordained religionists feel so betrayed by the church that they – and often their families – refuse to be part of it anymore.