May is Mental Health Awareness Month …
For the occasion, we offer some of the best books we’ve read on mental health and mental illness for Christian readers.
Some of these books take a more theological approach to understanding mental health, or a practical approach to fostering mental health in our churches. Others help us understand the social dynamics that surround mental health, and you also will find several memoirs of mental illness, some of which were written by Christians.
We feature our theology book of the year first, and after that the remaining book are in alphabetical order by the author/editor’s last name….
Books on Christianity and Mental Health…
8) Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life
*** Our 2008 Book of the Year!!!
The extraordinary New York Times bestselling masterpiece from “one of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books, yet she couldn’t drag herself out of bed in the morning, couldn’t summon the energy for her daily tasks. Even as she struggled, Norris recognized her familiar battle with acedia, a word she had discovered in early Church text years earlier. Fascinated by this “noonday demon”, so familiar to those in the early and medieval Church, Norris knew she must restore this forgotten but important concept to the modern world’s vernacular. An examination of acedia in the light of psychology, spirituality, the healing powers of religious practice, and Norris’s own experience, Acedia & Me is both intimate and historically sweeping, brimming with exasperation and reverence, sometimes funny, often provocative, and always insightful.
I would add Toward a Theology of Psychological Disorder by Marcia Webb (Cascade Books, 2017) and Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford (IVP, 2017) to this list.