In this riveting spiritual memoir, the writer, scholar, and commentator tells the story of his struggles with mental illness, explores the void between the Christian faith and scientific treatment, and forges a path toward reconciling these divergent worlds.
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About the Book:
For years, Charles Marsh suffered panic attacks and debilitating anxiety. As an Evangelical Christian, he was taught to trust in the power of God and His will. While his Christian community resisted therapy and personal introspection, Marsh eventually knew he needed help. To alleviate his suffering, he made the bold decision to seek medical treatment and underwent years of psychoanalysis.
In this riveting spiritual memoir, Marsh tells the story of his struggle to find peace and the dramatic, inspiring transformation that redefined his life and his faith. He examines the tensions between faith and science and reflects on how his own experiences offer hope for bridging the gap between the two. Honest and revealing, Marsh traces the roots of shame, examines Christian notions of sex, faith, and mental illness and their genesis, and chronicles how he redefined his beliefs and rebuilt his relationship with his community.
A poignant and vital story of deep soul work, Evangelical Anxiety helps us look beyond the stigma that leaves too many people in pain and offers people of faith a way forward to find the help they need while remaining true to their beliefs.
About the Author:
Charles Marsh is a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and director of the Project on Lived Theology. He is the author of seven previous books, including God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights, which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Marsh was a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009 and the 2010 Ellen Maria Gorrissen Berlin Prize fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Marsh challenges the church to reckon with the mental health of the faithful, to be more open and accepting of how many of us struggle. Through gripping and honest storytelling, Marsh reveals the ways in which therapy can be a form of prayer.” — W. Ralph Eubanks, author of A Place Like Mississippi
“Dark and sometimes bawdy humor enlivens the proceedings, making for an endearing and rewardingly unusual account of mental illness and faith. This candid and funny volume hits the mark.” — Publishers Weekly
"In this beautifully choreographed memoir, Charles Marsh’s lyrical prose dances as he recounts a tormenting anxiety disorder. Eventually he finds solace through years of a masterfully-described psychoanalysis (later supplemented with a bit of Prozac). Evangelical Anxiety is a courageous memoir where Christianity and psychoanalysis --worlds that rarely converge—interweave." — Dinah Miller MD, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and author of Shrink Rap: Psychiatrists Explain Their Work