Monica Dux: Lapsed

Losing your religion is harder than it looks… From devout ten-year-old performing the part of Jesus in a primary school play to blaspheming, undergraduate atheist, Monica Dux and her attitude to the Catholic Church changed profoundly over a decade. Eventually, she calmed down and was just ‘lapsed’.

Then, on a family trip to Rome, her young daughter expressed a desire to be baptised. Monica found herself re-examining her own childhood and how Catholicism had shaped her. Was it really out of her system or was it in her blood for life?

In Lapsed, Monica sets out to find the answer. Her investigations lead her to test a miracle cure in Lourdes and visit the grave of a headless Saint who claimed to be married to Christ (and wore a wedding ring made of his foreskin to prove it).

She speaks to canon lawyers, abuse survivors and even a nun who insists that the Virgin Mary starts her car every morning.

With wry humour and razor-sharp observations, Lapsed is the story of one woman’s attempt to exorcise her religious upbringing, and to answer the question, is Catholicism like a blood group and, if so, is it possible to get a total transfusion?

Monica Dux is a writer, and a columnist for The Age. She was a founding board member of the Stella Prize, and the Feminist Writers Festival. In a former life, Monica researched history at the University of Melbourne, worked at Melbourne University Publishing and on The Monthly magazine.

She is the author of Things I Didn’t Expect (When I Was Expecting), co-author of The Great Feminist Denial and editor of the anthology Mothermorphosis.

“A frank, funny and heartfelt exorcism of our need to believe in a man in the sky” – Shaun Micallef

Lapsed is published by HarperCollins Publishers (ABC Books) and available from all leading book sellers including Booktopia.

Image: Lapsed – courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers