Faith Hartmann Exposes the Fascinating but Appaling Facts she Learned Inside the Seminary

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Cautionary Memoir Tells of the Types and Stages of Injurious and Destructive Religious Relationships

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Faith Hartmann’s ex-husband (a Lutheran minister turned social worker) had been a very poor husband as well as a neglectful and unloving father to his children. She had often watched as he heaped subtle but insidious psychological and emotional abuse upon them. After years of suffering, she finally divorced him. As her ex-husband left the church, she entered the seminary as one of only a handful of women in the U.S. in the 1970s that were permitted to study within the all-male bastion of theology and philosophy. And now, she is determined to expose the fascinating but appalling facts she learned inside that educational institution as well as the injurious conditions of her experience in such setting.

Only a Fool Would Have Believed it in the First Place is a cautionary memoir that tells of the types and stages of injurious and destructive religious relationships, both personal and institutional in nature.The facts presented in this book are true but the names and places have been changed to protect those that are innocent.Using a pseudonym, Faith Hartmann writes in the first person point of view and she uses the third person point of view whenever the memories are too emotionally painful, or when the subject matter, such as topics about sex in that cultural era was too Victorian if the first person is to use.As a little known, anonymous author of this memoir,total focus is not given upon the personality of the individual. Rather, such anonymity will give readers an unusual glimpse into seminary life and classroom.

Because of a tragic crisis concerning her children, Hartmann choose to break the religious pattern of being a subservient, selfless, obedient helpmate to her husband. After the divorce, her role goes through a dynamic change as she turns to writing more of an exposé of the behind-the scenes action that occurs within the heart of a relatively liberal religious seminary institution that in 1975 had first opened its doors to females.Her past experience teaching church doctrine to the mission women and children had made her very aware of the misogynous teachings of the institutional church that totally devalued the role of women outside of their tiny place or sphere.Therefore, she viewed her studies with a more critical and experienced eye, but she still was determined to learn, in depth, why the institutional church despised females. She chose theology/philosophy as her major subject because she knew from past experience that these two ancient categories brought more harm to women than any other religious subject.

Hartmann’s exposé will also show to readers the breakdown of all religious myths, the uncovering of hierarchical schemes, and the resistance thrown up by the religious bureaucracy.She will also uncover hidden religious secrets from the 1500s to the 1700s that refers to the Science-Religion Split. Sometimes comical or bizarre, and at other times pathetic and tragic, Only a Fool Would Have Believed it in the First Place presents a cautionary story for those who want and need to find an ally as they struggle with breaking away from a destructive religious environment. Buoyant and hopeful overtones often battle with discordant angry and bitter undertones as it consistently lays bare the detrimental dark core at the heart of one woman’s lengthy Christian experience. Since far too many other persons have fallen into similarly laid traps by con-artist leaders of the institutional church, it provides possible psychological rescue tools as well.

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About the Author
Raised in a fundamentalist culture, the quiet, obedient, goody-goody Faith Hartmann slid naturally into the dysfunctional pattern of subservient, long-suffering wife of a minister with whom she worked as a co-missionary. Finally rebelling, she divorced him. As her ex-husband left the church, she entered seminary as one of only a handful of women in the U.S. in the 1970s that were permitted to study within the all-male bastion of theology and philosophy. She is determined to expose the fascinating but appalling facts she learned there, as well as the injurious conditions of her experience in that setting.

Only a Fool Would Have Believed it in the Firt Place * by Faith Hartmann

A Cautionary Memoir About Damaging Relationships Within Religious Homes and Institutions
Publication Date: November 15, 2012
Trade Paperback; $24.99; 414 pages; 978-1-4797-3592-1
Trade Hardback; $34.99; 414 pages; 978-1-4797-3593-8
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-3594-5

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