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My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood [Hardcover]

By Christine Rosen (Author)
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Item Number 114504  
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Item description for My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood by Christine Rosen...

A touching, funny memoir of growing up in St. Petersburg, Florida, in a household, school, and town of flourishing Biblical literalism

When Christine Rosen started kindergarten, her ABCs included the Apocalypse, the Bible, and Christ. At Keswick Christian School "the Bible was our textbook," God the guide, and after entering the school gates, nothing was ever quite the same again. Christine learned creation science, dreamed of becoming a missionary to exotic countries, worried about the souls of Jews and Mormons, and experienced unusual methods of sex education. With the threat of nuclear annihilation at the hands of atheistic Russians looming, she also frequently prayed for rapture.

At home, Florida life seemed happily to confirm several literal truths: the story of Moses, with its plagues that afflicted the Egyptians-from lice, to rivers of stinking dead fish, to hordes of frogs-might have been describing Christine's back yard.

My Fundamentalist Education is a brilliant, affectionate, child's-eye journey to Rosen's home, school and small town. Set in a time and place when the Living Bible outsold The Joy of Sex, during a girlhood lived as the Lord intended, among the tropical flora and fauna of Florida, its televangelists, irascible elderly, and itinerant preachers, Christine Rosen and her sister, Cathy, uncover the not always godly but surely divine secrets of a Hallelujah-ya sisterhood.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: PublicAffairs
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.6" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2006
Publisher   PublicAffairs
ISBN  1586482580  
ISBN13  9781586482589  

Availability  0 units.

More About Christine Rosen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christine Rosen is the author of "Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement" and a fellow of the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She has a Ph.D. in History from Emory University, and her opinion pieces and essays have appeared in the "Wall Street Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, Commentary, New England Journal of Medicine," and other publications. She is also a frequent contributor to radio and television shows. She lives in Washington, D.C. and is married to Jeffrey Rosen.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
4Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > Florida
5Books > Subjects > History > World > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Literary Theory

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Reviews - What do customers think about My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood?

Wonderful to read about the kind side of religion   Jun 19, 2007
The school that the author attends in this book reminds me of many parts of my childhood. I didn't go to a Christian school, but in our small town there were many clubs and Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools and Good News Clubs and Pioneer Clubs and so on! My parents loved to get free child care and have us out of the house for a bit, so even if they didn't believe what was being taught to us, they had us attend many of these religious clubs and events. The mostly kind, mostly truly caring people at Christine's school remind me of most of the people I encountered at these clubs---true believers, who did their best to practice what they preached. In this day and age of such separation between blue states and red, believers and not, we often get distorted views of deeply religious people. Although my own beliefs waver often and are not at all fundamentalist, I, like the author, am glad to have had the experience of reading the King James Bible and meeting religious people. This book is very well written, humorous without being flip, and most of all kind. I really enjoyed reading it.
Former Keswickian says, "Ha!"  Jul 29, 2006
When I read the St. Petersburg Times article announcing this book, I knew I had to read it. When I picked it up at my local library, I gritted my teeth, expecting to be eviscerated by a bitter cynic. Instead, what I found was a thoughtfully written piece about growing up and the influences that shape our world view. I graduated from Keswick while Christine was attending elementary school, but the biggest grin was her reference to the guys by the pickup truck with the Ayatollah sign. All those guys were my friends from my graduating class (we were seniors that year) - and I can tell you that all of them grew up - like Christine - as free thinking, contributing members of society. I guess that having a firm foundation in the bible isn't a bad place to begin your education.

The only puzzling but necessary part of the book were the name changes of the teachers and students. I was able to identify most of the people she referenced by her descriptions, including the principal and head master, but it did make for some puzzling reading at first.

My experience at Keswick was "mixed" as well, with some pretty horrific experiences, like being banned from the library and the bus my last two years at school, but also positive, like meeting my future wife and having a very weird and memorable time at school. Having boundaries is an important part of growing up - and Keswick certainly created those! What fun is it to misbehave if you don't get in trouble?

Christine puts the "FUN" back into FUNdamental education. So, as a fellow Keswickian married to another Keswickian - thank you.
Guess she missed the lesson on charity  Jul 13, 2006
By the middle of this book I found myself siding with Ms. Rosen's fundamentalist monsters. Why? Certainly not out of any respect for their fear-driven madness, but out of revulsion for the unrelenting snide tone of the author. Sure the stories border on the grotesque, but so does Ms. Rosen's smug self-righteousness. I'd say she has more in common with the Keswick staff than she realizes.
Glad She Made It, I Wonder About the Others  Mar 26, 2006
It's kind of a wonder to me that Dr. Rosen can look back on her fundamentalist education with as much fondness as she does. This kind of an education must have been very difficult for a young child to handle. It also must have left her woefully unprepared for her later studies to get her Ph.D. in a real university.

Yet it appears that she was able to use her religious education as a starting point. As she rejected the fundamentalist teaching in areas like moral certainty she was able to broaden her outlook to better understand all people. The illogical beliefs in the Bible enabled her to explore unorthodox ideas in all fields.

I can only hope that the children being raised in other fundamentalist schools such as the Muslim schools where the only book is the Qur'ran will likewise produce people who question the idea that suicide bombing is the best way to live their short life.
Did she say lucky?  Feb 9, 2006
I attended Keswick, from kindergarten through graduation. Yes, 13 achingly long years. And to think that my mother and siblings and I went without so many of life's necessities (i.e., pest control) just so my mother could afford the tuition. From the horrible movies of the "tribulation" (Distant Thunder and Image of the Beast), to the scanner at Publix being a tool of the devil (think 666, mark of the beast), to thinking the rapture had occurred when hearing an ambulance siren, to the boycott of 7-11. I do not recollect my years at Keswick with the same fondness or gratefulness as the author, but it was somewhat comforting to read this book and realize that others, at the time we shared these experiences, felt the same as I (even if we do differ now on our feelings in retrospect).

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