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Leaving their religion

“The Unbelieving”
Linda LaScola (Photo by Ingrid Laas)
Daniel Dennett (Photo by Ingrid Laas)

A new play about clergy who have stopped believing in God is being brought to the stage in New York City. 

The play, “The Unbelieving,” is inspired by interviews with clergy conducted for the book, Caught In The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind, by philosopher and writer Daniel Dennett and qualitative researcher Linda LaScola. (Dennett and LaScola are both FFRF members.)

“The play is drawn almost entirely verbatim from Linda’s astonishing interviews with these brave, lonely, good folks,” Dennett wrote to FFRF.

Dennett and LaScola are also founders, along with FFRF Co-President Dan Barker, of The Clergy Project, which creates a safe and secure online community of forums composed entirely of religious leaders who no longer hold to supernatural beliefs. 

“The Unbelieving,” to be performed at 59E-59 Theater, will run from Oct. 20 through Nov. 20. The play was written by Marin Gazzaniga, directed by Steve Cosson and produced by La Scola and Dennett.

From “The Unbelieving” play’s website: “In the classic tale of religious conversion, finding God holds the promise of a life filled with purpose and meaning. But what happens when this transformation occurs in reverse, and a faith you have built your life around begins to fall away? ‘The Unbelieving’ takes a penetrating look into the lives of practicing clergy members — Catholics, Episcopalians, evangelicals, fundamentalists, Jews, Mormons, Muslims — who have stopped believing in God.” 

The play will be staged by New York City’s acclaimed downtown theater company The Civilians. “The Unbelieving” tells the intimate stories of faith leaders “showing the struggles, courage and humor of these ‘unbelievers’ as they face the hardest decision of their lives — whether to continue living in secret or to risk everything by telling the truth” the play’s website states.

“In the face of Covid and other setbacks, we’ve been working on getting this on the boards for several years, and now it’s really happening,” Dennett writes.

For tickets or more information, go to bit.ly/3oD1wK3.

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