Theology and Mental Health


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For centuries, the mentally ill have been misunderstood and ostracized within religious communities. What would it mean to seriously transform how we view, discuss and treat those struggling with mental illness as Christians? In this episode, co-host Shari Oosting sits down with John Swinton, professor of practical theology and pastoral care at the University of Aberdeen Scotland to examine these questions, and discuss his new book, Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges.

John Swinton is a Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. For more than a decade he worked as a registered mental health nurse. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital and community mental health Chaplain alongside people with severe mental health challenges who were moving from the hospital into the community. In 2004, he founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. He has published widely within the area of mental health, dementia, disability theology, spirituality and healthcare, qualitative research and pastoral care. He is the author of a number of monographs including Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness and Gentle Discipleship (Baylor Press 2017), Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (Eerdmans 2012), and Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of People with Mental Health Challenges. (Eerdmans 2020) .

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