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By Jeanna Kadlec

Jeanna Kadlec knew what it meant to be faithful—in her marriage to a paster’s son, in the comfortable life ahead of her, in her God — but there was no denying the truth lived that under that conviction: she was queer and, if she wanted to survive, she would need to leave behind the church and every foundational building block she knew.  

Heretic is a memoir of heretical rebirth. From the story of Lilith to celebrity purity rings, a newly married Kadlec interrogates how her indoctrination and years of piety intersects with her Midwest working-class upbringing as she navigates graduate school in Boston, revealing another insidious truth—that conservative Christianity has both built and undermined our political power structures, poisoned our pop culture, and infected the way we interact with one another.  

Weaving the personal with powerful critique, Heretic explores how we can radically abandon these painful systems by taking a sledgehammer to the comfortable. Whether searching for community in the face of millennial loneliness or wanting to reclaim a secular form of fellowship in everyday life, Kadlec envisions the brilliant possibilities that come with not only daring to want a different way but actually striking out and claiming it for ourselves.

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