I hold a B.A. in European History, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. from the Yale School of Medicine, where I also served on clinical faculty for eight years. I am author of two medical textbooks and have published peer-reviewed research in observational epidemiology.
My scholarly interest in religion arose in 1992. While reading in Christian theology, I noticed thematic parallels between core Christian teachings and historically widespread patterns of childhood corporal punishment. My work in epidemiology had sensitized me to the significance of such parallels; and my immediate sense was that these parallels were too precise and extensive to have arisen by chance. My knowledge about psychological trauma made it clear to me that a causal link between actual childhood trauma and traumatic themes in religious myth was entirely plausible. After completing my initial work on Christianity, I began to explore similar parallels in Judaism, Islam, and Eastern traditions.
My work is informed by a rigorous intellectual interest in religion, history, and psychology; an empathetic concern for the plight of children past, present, and future; and a desire to communicate the vital importance of nurturing, non-coercive childrearing practices.
abelow . religion @ gmail . com, removing extra spaces.
I am currently writing a book on childhood trauma and religion. If you'd like to be notified when it is published, send an email to the contact address with the words "Book List" in the subject line. Your information will not be shared or used for any other purpose.