Disability Concerns invites you to join us for our first book club of 2021!
We will be looking at John Swinton’s new book Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges.
When: Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm EST (February 2 to March 9)
Where: Zoom! (link will be sent to all participants)
Who: Becky Jones will be leading the conversation and will be joined by guest leaders throughout this series
How to sign up: Register using this Winter 2021 Book Club Form
Review from Eerdmans Publishers
People living with mental health challenges are not excluded from God’s love or even the fullness of life promised by Jesus. Unfortunately, this hope is often lost amid the well-meaning labels and medical treatments that dominate the mental health field today. In Finding Jesus in the Storm, John Swinton makes the case for reclaiming that hope by changing the way we talk about mental health and remembering that, above all, people are people, regardless of how unconventionally they experience life.
Finding Jesus in the Storm is a call for the church to be an epicenter of compassion for those experiencing depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and related difficulties. That means breaking free of the assumptions that often accompany these diagnoses, allowing for the possibility that people living within unconventional states of mental health might experience God in unique ways that are real and perhaps even revelatory. In each chapter, Swinton gives voice to those experiencing the mental health challenges in question, so readers can see firsthand what God’s healing looks like in a variety of circumstances. The result is a book about people instead of symptoms, description instead of diagnosis, and lifegiving hope for everyone in the midst of the storm.
About Rev. Dr. John Swinton
John Swinton is the Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Previously he worked for sixteen years as a registered mental health nurse, and spent several years as a hospital chaplain and community mental health chaplain. He is particularly interested in mental health issues both as they relate to the spiritual dimensions of care offered by religious communities as well as the spiritual care offered by established “secular” mental health services. He has published widely in the fields of disability theology, spirituality and health, and qualitative research and mental health. His book Dementia: Living in the memories of God won the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ramsey Prize for excellence in theological writing in 2016. He is founder of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability, where academics, researchers, practitioners, and educators collaborate in the development of innovative projects researching the theology of disability and the relationship between spirituality, health and healing, and contemporary healthcare practices. John is an ordained minister of Church of Scotland.
Finding Jesus in the Storm first of all listens deeply, or, as John Swinton says, ‘thickly,’ to people with mental health challenges and helps a reader see, broaden, and reconstruct both the ways that people of faith might walk with people with mental challenges as well as help people with mental health challenges explore the spiritual dimensions of their own journey. As someone who has both worked with others and my own mental health challenges, this felt very real. Using insights from psychology, sociology, theology, and other disciplines, Swinton once again breaks past multiple forms of stigma and unexamined assumptions to help readers enter a space where we can once again see each other as children of God—pilgrims—doing the best we can to live into the embrace of God’s love.
—Bill Gaventa (author of Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness)
Learned, revealing, and deeply humane, Swinton's study will mightily instruct and comfort many. Every pastor should read it. In fact, it deserves hosts of readers.
—Cornelius Plantinga (Calvin Theological Seminary)
Where to purchase this book: Eerdmans Publishers