American Protestant Responses to Mental Illness
Baylor University Press 2015
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network March 30, 2016 Franklin Rausch
Should the member of a Christian congregation be injured in a car accident, that person will likely be the subject of public prayers and hospitality. But if that same person suffers a mental breakdown, reactions will likely be much more complex and awkward. In her fascinating book, Madness: American Protestant Responses to Mental Illness (Baylor University Press, 2015), Dr. Heather Vacek examines how American Protestants have struggled with the problem of mental illness, and how their relationship with it has changed over time. Vacek reveals in her well-organized and sensitive work the thought of five Protestants whose lives were deeply touched by mental illness: Cotton Mather, Benjamin Rush, Dorothea Dix, Anton Boisen, and Karl Menninger. Vacek then ends this well-researched book with a historically-informed theological reflection of how Christians can help those afflicted with mental illness.