Toward a Theology of Mental Illness

TitleToward a Theology of Mental Illness
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWebb, M
Journal TitleJournal of Religion, Disability & Health

This article considers research describing religious attitudes toward mental illness, including assumptions that mental illness may be evidence of personal sin or demonic influence. These assumptions are critiqued based upon a review of relevant Scriptural passages. A reformulation of theological conceptions of mental illness is then proposed, focusing on the following themes: heroism in frailty, freedom in finitude, complexity in disorder, and the stranger in our midst. In conclusion, the article offers potential implications of theologies describing a passable God for an understanding of human suffering in general, and the suffering in mental disorder in particular.



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