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; and a desire to communicate the vital importance of nurturing, non-coercive childrearing practices.


If you have questions or comments; wish to arrange a presentation for your group or classroom; or would like to be notified when my book on childhood trauma and religion is published, please write to abelow . religion @ gmail . com, with extra spaces removed.​​