Darrel Ray


Recovering from Religion · Kansas City, Kansas

Darrel Ray, Ed.D. is an organizational psychologist and student of religion for over forty years. Raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, he knows religion from the inside out. He has a BA in sociology, an MA in religion and an Ed.D. in counseling psychology from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. For thirty years, Dr. Ray was in practice as a clinical psychologist, then an organizational psychologist and wrote two books in that field. Teaming Up (McGraw-Hill, 1995) and The Performance Culture (IPC Press, 2001).

Darrel left religion in his thirties, but continued to ask the question, “How does religion work on the mind and behavior of those it infects?” Because no other authors seemed to be answering this question, he wrote The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture as a practical and theoretical guide to those who want to understand religion and specifically how to eliminate it from our lives. In 2012 he published, Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality where he asks, “What would happen if we subtracted religion out of sex. What would human sexuality look like? How would it change or inform us? While still early, the book has received rave reviews for its fresh perspective on the impact of religion on human sexuality and sexual behavior. Sex and God is the first book to scientifically examine this important relationship.

In 2009, Dr. Ray founded Recovering from Religion (RfR), an international organization and 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to helping people leave religion. The organization has grown from a single monthly meeting to meetings throughout the US, the UK and Australia and other countries. RfR also runs a hotline and chatline and outreach programs for people leaving many different religions. Darrel remains Chairman of the Board. Visit them on the web at www.recoveringfromreligion.org. In 2014 he started the Secular Sexuality Podcast dedicated to exploring all thing sexual from a secular point of view https://secularsexuality.dogmadebate.com/

He is the principal researcher for the 2012 Sex and Secularism report. A new report will be released in late 2018 in conjunction with Dr. Ali Imran and the University of Kansas. He has been in numerous documentaries including Richard Dawkins’ Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life, and Dhruv Dhawan’s Why Knot: Breaking the Silence on Monogamy.

Some common titles of talks he gives:

Sexy Evolution: How evolution influences our sexuality.
The Myth of Sex Addiction
Male Shame, the Roots of Female Shame
The God Virus: How Religion Infects our Brains
The Shame of it All: Why Do We Act Like Christians?
What I learned from a Life Time of Activism
SocioSexual Orientation: How it Impacts Relationships
Did Jesus Masturbate: Thoughts on New Testament Sexuality or Where are All the Women?

Watch Darrel talk about The God Virus:

Watch Darrel talk about The Myth of Sex Addiction:

Contact Darrel Ray >>

Topics: Psychology, Religion
Subtopics: Leaving religion, Psychology of religion, Religious criticism, Sex & sexuality

Viewpoints and information presented by speakers do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.