Jesus Wept: When Faith and Depression Meet

( 4 )

Overview

Drawing from her personal experiences and those of hundreds ofothers, Episcopal priest Barbara Cawthorne Crafton explores what itmeans for a person of faith to suffer from depression. Just as notwo people are the same, the experience of depression is unique toevery individual. Depression's mark on each soul can perplex oreven annoy loved ones, friends, and family, while at the same timethey want very much to help.

All too often religious people face unique challenges ...

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Overview

Drawing from her personal experiences and those of hundreds ofothers, Episcopal priest Barbara Cawthorne Crafton explores what itmeans for a person of faith to suffer from depression. Just as notwo people are the same, the experience of depression is unique toevery individual. Depression's mark on each soul can perplex oreven annoy loved ones, friends, and family, while at the same timethey want very much to help.

All too often religious people face unique challenges whendepression sets in. Jesus Wept explains that faith can beenormously helpful and comforting or can seriously hinder thehealing process. Communities of faith and ill-advised teachings canleave sufferers feeling abandoned. They wonder, "Where are the joysand comforts of faith and the power of prayer? How can I trust God? My depression is a sign that I have disappointed God!"

Offering hope to those who suffer, Crafton shows how a life offaith can bring together unique resources for dealing with the darknight of the soul. The ancient practice of prayer, which has takensorrow seriously for thousands of years, can be a powerful elixirfor the spirit. Supportive religious teachings can offer a powerfulhope for resurrection and healing. Faith can build a communitythat, at its best, enshrines love and welcome to the poor inspirit.

Jesus Wept is a valuable resource for those who are findingtheir way through the darkness of soul and spirit—or for thosewho care for them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Beyond all the vision quests, Scripture explanations, and spiritual exhortations, there are certain regions of human experience that are so painful, so difficult, that even religious writers touch on them rarely and with reluctance. This season, two brave books take a frank look at depression and forgiveness. Crafton, an Episcopal priest and founder of The Geranium Farm (www.geraniumfarm.org), approaches the subject of depression with astonishing candor and courage. Coming to terms with her own experience of this illness, she acknowledges depression's fundamental intractability—its meaninglessness and dullness. While she wisely dispels the Christian fear of suicide ("There's more than enough hell to go around, right here on earth"), she also rejects easy solutions. Love may not be the answer, but it minimizes the worst of the illness.
 –Library Journal (March 2009) Starred Review
Library Journal

Beyond all the vision quests, Scripture explanations, and spiritual exhortations, there are certain regions of human experience that are so painful, so difficult, that even religious writers touch on them rarely and with reluctance. This season, two brave books take a frank look at depression and forgiveness. Crafton, an Episcopal priest and founder of The Geranium Farm (www.geraniumfarm.org), approaches the subject of depression with astonishing candor and courage. Coming to terms with her own experience of this illness, she acknowledges depression's fundamental intractability-its meaninglessness and dullness. While she wisely dispels the Christian fear of suicide ("There's more than enough hell to go around, right here on earth"), she also rejects easy solutions. Love may not be the answer, but it minimizes the worst of the illness.

Huston (The Holy Way), a former literature teacher, tackles forgiveness, which while one of the keystones of Christian faith is remarkably hard to offer or receive. She thoughtfully helps the reader to think about preparing both to forgive and to be forgiven, for example, by eschewing "false forgiveness"; forgiving parents, spouses, and community; and being creatures of forgiveness in an unforgiving world. Both of these books are highly recommended.


—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470371954
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/13/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 797,314
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 6.99 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton is an Episcopal priest, spiritual director, and author. She is the founder and head of the Geranium Farm, www.geraniumfarm.org, an online institute for the promotion of spiritual growth, which publishes The Almost-Daily eMo from the Geranium Farm, read by thousands of people worldwide.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

Prologue: What We’re Talking About.

1. Jesus Wept.

2. A Learning Experience.

Worry.

3. I Just Don’t Feel Anything.

4. Trouble in Paradise.

The Magic Kingdom.

5. Charged with the Care of Souls.

Aaron.

6. The Defendant as Prosecutor.

7. This Is My Last Hope.

Electric Poem.

8. Sorrowful Mysteries.

9. The Dark Night.

Inferno, Canto I.

10. Words Fail Me.

11. Wanting to Die.

To Be or Not to Be.

12. The Family Disease.

Notes.

Further Reading.

The Author.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent book on a difficult topic

    Just got this book and devoured it in one sitting. Very compelling and thoughtfully written. A great book for anyone who has lived with depression themselves or seen a loved one struggle with it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 6, 2009

    christians can be depressed and still have faith

    A compassionate and honest look at depression from one who knows the darkness first hand and has much wisdom to share. Note especially Rev. Crafton's discussion of Mother Theresa who suffered from persistent feelings of joyless separation from God inspite of her faith in God and life of service for the poor. This chapter is brilliantly insightful about the possible undiagnosed depression she suffered from and how "dark night of the soul" theology could be both helpful and not helpful. A nuanced and lyrical analysis without any religious pablum! Reading that can help open the ideas especially of Christians and other people of faith to the dangerous idea that no one who has faith should be depressed. Everyone must read this book! Depression has plagued members of my family--and I am a survivor of two suicides, my nephew and a friend, so it was deeply healing, especially due to its compassionate honesty about depression and how difficult it is to live with it, either for the ones with the disease or someone who love them. Yet, she finds hope.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    If you care about spirituality and struggle with depression, this book is wonderful.

    "Jesus Wept" is written by an Episcopal priests, Barbara Crafton who struggles with her own depression. If you struggle with it and try to care about your spiritual life, this book is hard to put down. I highly recommend it for everyone who is like that. It is by far the best book that I've read on depression.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 21, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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