Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

MA in English



First Advisor

Stephen Sicari

Second Advisor

Amy King


Through analysis of various literary texts, social media, and television, “Being Your Own Religious Protagonist: The Ramifications of Religious Guilt, Shame, and Abuse on Women’s Identities” will examine the different ways in which women experience religion as children and teenage girls, as well as how their individual and complex religious experiences affect their upbringing and eventual identities as adult women. I am particularly interested in looking at how these experiences affect not only their identities, but their decisions regarding faith and whether or not they wish to remain in the same religious organizations they grew up in. While many who suffer from religious trauma decide to cut ties with their faith entirely, there are a great deal of women who wish to stay connected to their faith, either by finding a new form of religion that brings them joy, or by attempting to make positive changes within their religious community that are beneficial to all women involved. The introduction to this work will include some of my own personal experiences with religion as a young woman growing up in the Catholic church, as well as presenting the layout of the thesis contents.