CORT, the Conference On Religious Trauma, was supposed to have taken place for the first time in Vancouver in April last year. However, it ended up being cancelled, due to Coronavirus.
Now, CORT is back. This time as an online conference on the Internet, making the conference a tad more accessible to more people around the world – it requires a reasonable internet connection that is fast enough to handle video, that you understand English, and then of course that you have the money for a ticket. The event will take place 11 – 16 May 2021.
There are many good speakers, among others:
- Dr. Marlene Winell (Psychologist and author of “Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion“)
- Darrel Ray (Psychologist, author, founder of Recovering from Religion)
- Janet Heimlich (Journalist and author of “Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment“)
- Rick Alan Ross (Cult expert and author of “Cults Inside Out: How People Get In and Can Get Out“)
- Linda Kay Klein (Author of “Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free“)
- Dan Barker (Atheist activist, author, co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation)
- Alice Greczyn (Actor and author of “Wayward: A Memoir of Spiritual Warfare and Sexual Purity“)
- And many more.
The times in the schedule are Vancouver times, so you have to add 9 hours to the times, to get the Danish times, which means that in Danish times, a large part of the conference takes place in the evening and during the night.
The price for a ticket that gives full access to all speakers live, to participate in Q&A, as well as access to the recordings post-event for up to 6 months, costs $150 USD (that is just under 1000 DKK1).
The price for a ticket that only gives access to all the video-on-demand recordings post event (not the live conference and stuff like participating in Q&A), costs $75 USD (that is just under 500 DKK2).
You might be able to get a discount, if you are a student or are experiencing financial hardship.
Seen from a Danish point of view, is a conference on religious trauma important? Isn’t it just a North American thing that has nothing to do with Denmark at all?
If the above is what you are thinking, then to me it is a sign of your ignorance about Protestant Christianity and Evangelical-Lutheran theology and ideology, and thus also your ignorance about the ideology behind the Danish National Church, both historically and today. But you are certainly not alone. One of the problems here in Denmark today is that many Danes have no idea what kind of ideology and way of thinking they, as a member of the Danish National Church, are helping to perpetuate and support, because if people knew what they are actually saying yes to, then there certainly would be more people leaving the Danish National Church (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark).
Christian theology and school of thought is not based on national borders, but on theological directions. Thus, the dark sides and the damage it can cause are also not limited by national borders. Just because we here in Denmark don’t talk about religious trauma and the dark side of the Danish National Church, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist – it does. Several of the ways of thinking that have a high potential for creating religious trauma and / or ending up in emotional neglect and abuse, or sexual trauma and other problems, can be found in Evangelical-Lutheran theology and school of thought – also within the Church of Denmark.
If you know what to look for, then you don’t need to go farther than to the creeds of the Church of Denmark, the things Luther has written, and for example Danish Evangelical-Lutheran children’s books and youth books, to find some of the Protestant ways of thinking that, seen from a psychological / mental health perspective, are deeply problematic.
So yes, it’s important, and I hope a conference like this survives, and in the years to come gets bigger and gains international attention and importance. We need a better and more widespread understanding of trauma, incl. religious trauma and other forms of psychological damage, which religion – incl. the Danish national church and Christianity here in Denmark – causes for at least some of us. So feel free to help spread the word about the conference.
Just because you don’t feel like you have been harmed by Protestant Christianity (or other kinds of religion) and / or the Danish National Church, doesn’t mean that for example your neighbor or your own children hasn’t been or could be harmed by it. So, let’s get wiser, and sweep before our own door first.
You can see more about the conference, here: https://pheedloop.com/CORT/site/home/