Schizophrenia is often considered one of the most destructive forms of mental illness. Elahe Hessamfar's personal experience with her daughter's illness has led her to ask some pressing and significant questions about the cause and nature of schizophrenia and the Church's role in its treatment. With a candid and revealing look at the history of mental illness, In the Fellowship of His Suffering describes schizophrenia as a variation of human expression. Hessamfar uses a deeply theological rather than pathological approach to interpret the schizophrenic experience and the effect it has on both the patients and their families. Effectively drawing on the Bible as a source of knowledge for understanding mental illness, she offers a reflective yet innovative view of whether the Church could or should intervene in such encounters and what such an intervention might look like. Hessamfar's comprehensive work will provoke powerful responses from anyone interested in the prominent social issue of mental illness.Her portrayal of the raging debate between treating 'insanity' either pastorally or medically will enthral readers, be they Christians, medical students or those in the field of psychiatry and social sciences.
Elahe Hessamfar is a former business executive and has a PhD in Divinity from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She has an MA in biblical studies from the Reformed Theological Seminary, an MS in computer science from the George Washington University, and a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas.
Foreword by John Swinton Acknowledgments Introduction 1 A Theological Anthropology 2 The Historical Contexts of Psychiatry and Mental Illness 3 A Theology of Illness 4 A Path Forward: Healing Together 5 Conclusion Bibliography Subject Index Scripture Index