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Understanding and Evaluating the Category of Spiritual Abuse


The misuse of authority in leadership is a real problem that exists in the church and in the culture. But recently, the term ‘spiritual abuse’ has been used by some as a category that only applies to Christians and other religious groups. This workshop will examine attempts to define ’Spiritual Abuse’ in this wider context - attempts that, while sincerely meant, have certain drawbacks in terms of diagnostic precision, legal mission creep, and religious liberty. Alternative definitions will be examined, albeit within a framework that holds the needs of victims and survivors in this context as central.