Violent Upbringing in the Name of Faith


  • Sara Jerebic, Ph.D. Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana


childhood violence, body, psyche, image of God, spirituality, relational family therapy


Parents are the first catechists who communicate faith to their children. Their educational mission is to create a positive family atmosphere where, by showing unconditional love, respect and sympathetic attitude, they help their child establish a positive relationship with God. When parents, due to their inability to regulate their aggressive impulses, use religion as a tool of educational manipulation, they can create a wrong image of God, simultaneously with their violent behaviour create feelings of unworthiness in a child, which s/he later manifests in various ways of harming his/her body. A multitude of harmful effects for the body and relationships often leads the survivor to seek help through therapy in adulthood. They are usually drawn to therapy due to their feelings of incompetence, unworthiness, shame, guilt, purposelessness and utter despair. Based on the clinical practice, this article will present the consequences of manipulative, violent upbringing, manifested in psychological and physical experience of survivors, intertwined with a desire for salvation. We want to broaden the understanding of these consequences in the light of the physical structure that is a precondition of the psychological structure, and show how an individual can construct a new attitude towards his/her own body with the help of his/her spirituality.






Challenges for the family faith formation