Holy Fear(s)  

Posted by Joe Rawls

Traditional spiritual writers sometimes speak of "holy fear", a feeling of great awe for God's sovereign power that motivates us--not so much from fear of hell as from a sense of reverence--to avoid sin and live virtuous lives. This post, alas, does not rise to such heights but wallows in the neurotic fears diagnosed by the shrink class as phobias. Specifically, they are religious phobias. The first section is taken from The Phobia List. A major tip of the hat to my wife Nancy for referring me to it.

The second part contains a few distinctly Anglican phobias which I have diagnosed myself. I will propose them for inclusion in the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. I am not holding my breath.

  • allodoxophobia--fear of opinions.
  • decidophobia--fear of making decisions.
  • ecclesiophobia--fear of church.
  • enosiophobia--fear of having committed an unpardonable sin.
  • epistemophobia--fear of knowledge.
  • erotophobia--fear of sex.
  • euphobia--fear of hearing good news.
  • hadephobia--fear of hell.
  • hagiophobia--fear of saints or holy things.
  • hamartophobia--fear of sinning.
  • hedonophobia--fear of feeling pleasure.
  • heterophobia--fear of the opposite sex.
  • hexacosioihexekontahexaphobia--fear of the number 666.
  • hierophobia--fear of priests.
  • hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia--fear of long words.
  • homilophobia--fear of sermons.
  • homophobia--fear of homosexuality.
  • ideophobia--fear of ideas.
  • judeophobia--fear of Jews.
  • kainolophobia--fear of anything new.
  • necrophobia--fear of death.
  • ouranophobia--fear of heaven.
  • panthophobia--fear of suffering.
  • papaphobia--fear of the Pope.
  • theologicophobia--fear of theology.
  • theophobia--fear of gods or religion.
Now for a few Anglican phobias (not to be confused with Anglophobia, though this plays a role in the current difficulties):

  • akinolaphobia--fear of Global South bishops with serious attitude.
  • breederphobia--fear that the worship committee will be completely taken over by heterosexuals. Not a big issue in Anglo-Catholic parishes.
  • coughupthebucksophobia--fear of the parish stewardship campaign.
  • iconophobia--fear of icons, especially by people who think Thomas Kincaid is a great artist.
  • incenseophobia--fear of incense, especially by people who suffer from respiratory diseases only when they go to church.
  • jeffertsschoriphobia--fear of women bishops with doctorates in marine biology.
  • rowanophobia--fear of archbishops with out-of-control eyebrows.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 16, 2008 at Monday, June 16, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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