A. literature, and often read at the beginning of A.A. meetings. However, from the viewpoint of sociology of religion, it is clear that A.A. functions much like a religious movement, even though it is not organized as a church. Its meetings, especially in small towns and conservative communities, often have the flavor of a "Low church" Bible study group. For this reason, persons of other religious backgrounds often have a difficult time coping with the A.A. subculture.
Alcoholics Anonymous is certainly essential reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding the complex disease of alcoholism, but it is not easy reading for non-alcoholics and therefore not extremely useful for educating the public about the disease of alcoholism. Like the New Testament, it was written not to convert the outsiders, but to strengthen and sustain those who are already members--and anyone reading it in order to find out how to stop the drinking that is killing him or her is effectively already a member. Someone reading it without that motivation to grasp it will more often than not be baffled by it. One is reminded of an aphorism uttered by C.S. Lewis in his BBC lectures (which subsequently became his Mere Christianity) that "Christianity really does not make any sense as long as you think you do not need what is being offered."
This aspect of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is also true of most of the rest of the literature published by A.A. World Services, such as Bill Wilson's 1955 pamphlet on A.A.'s "Twelve Traditions, evoked several different responses. One is the new nonfiction genre called "recovery literature," of which Mueller and Ketcham are fairly typical. This is literature, targeted toward alcoholism or a myriad of other problems, which tones down the spiritual emphasis in favor of a more strictly medical or psychological approach (although there is also a type of such literature which is even more spiritual and sometimes even ...
Evaluating Alcohol Abuse Problem. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 09:38, February 14, 2016, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304180699.html