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In My Gut, I Don't Believe is an intimate coming of age memoir, set in Mount St Mary's, a Catholic seminary, in 1980s Dublin. Making extensive use of contemporaneous private journals, Joe Armstrong shows his personal, psychological, emotional, sexual and intellectual growth, from boy to young man, escaping a difficult mother and a Church demanding the submission of his mind, body and will.Torn between faith and doubt, safety and risk, love and fear, the memoir is a portrait of the young man trying to live the vow of celibacy while becoming aware of his need for affection, intimacy and love. It shows his efforts to live the vow of obedience while awakening to his need to obey himself. It provides an authentic, peerless, fly-on-the-wall insight into Catholic seminary life.

This is a story of learning to listen to and trust yourself, discarding other voices, and making the hardest decision of your life. It shows that nobody knows you better than you know yourself. It illustrates how hard it is to grow beyond the worldview you were born into. It's a siren call to listen to your feelings, thoughts and hunches - not those of other people - if you are to become yourself.Set in the decade before the clerical scandals of priests fathering children in secret became known to the public and before the crimes of paedophile priests and their cover-up by the hierarchy caused many to lose their faith, Joe Armstrong's personal journey from belief to doubt anticipates and articulates the experience of millions.

Author: 
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 10 December 2020
Pages: 326

In My Gut, I Don't Believe: A Memoir

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