Toxic theology

Other Names:
Bad theology

Toxic theology refers to belief systems that contain falsehoods;  it does not refer to the underlying religion but rather its expression in a particular community of faith.  Qualities of toxic theology are that they contain a measure of violence -- emotional,  physical or spiritual -- and power abuse that compromise mental health and physical wellbeing, producing pain and suffering.  Characteristics of such theology may include:

  • followers are held to a rigid, unyielding system of beliefs
  • and berated for independent thought
  • producing cognitive dissonance or confusion due to internal contradictions and conflicting dogmas
  • questioning is discouraged
  • outsiders are suspicious
  • pluralism of belief is discouraged; other religions are not acceptable
  • biblical texts are interpreted literally
  • pleasing God, who rewards piety and punishes faithlessness
  • afterlife is real and consequent on current life.

Religious beliefs based on toxic theology can increase guilt, shame, fear of death and complicated grief.

Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST