New Book Alert: Evangelical Anxiety by Charles Marsh
This is an honest and tender look at mental health struggles and faith.
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I first encountered Charles Marsh via his classic work (and I really mean it’s a classic) God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights.
In that book Dr. Marsh introduced me to Fannie Lou Hamer. Her life has shaped my scholarship (I wrote an entire chapter about her in my dissertation) and my racial justice advocacy.
Currently I am part of a remarkable group of scholars who Dr. Marsh pulled together to write an edited book due out in 2023 called People Get Ready: Thirteen Misfits, Malcontents, and Dreamers in Pursuit of Justice.
A fact that continues to give me pause is that over time Dr. Marsh became Charles, and we became friends.
This is because Charles is an exceedingly humble man. He met me and immediately treated me as a peer even though he had (and still has) far more knowledge and accolades than I.
Charles is also deeply pious man in the best sense of the word. He is genuinely concerned about right and wrong and tending to his witness in the face of a watching world.
It’s a matter of integrity for him. If Charles going to call himself a Christ-follower, then he’s going to do his best to be like Jesus.
I think Charles models something of the tenderness and vulnerability of Jesus in his latest book, his latest gift really—Evangelical Anxiety: A Memoir.
Charles holds nothing back of his struggles with mental health and anxiety. Of his wrestling with evangelicalism. Of his fears. His flaws. His humanity.
In his giving, we, the readers, receive.
This book is for anyone who has ever felt a tension between addressing the real and urgent issues of mental health while trying to navigate much of evangelicalism’s inability to navigate such issues in healing ways.
I was honored to write an endorsement for Evangelical Anxiety. This is my encouragement for you to read it.
In Evangelical Anxiety Charles Marsh probes the realms of piety and mental health with engrossing prose, naked honesty, and utter empathy. In religious cultures where people are expected to pray the anxiety away, Marsh shows us how the sacred can be found in literature, patient companionship, and on the therapist’s couch. Anyone curious about a better way to navigate mental health and religious belief will find hope and inspiration in this book.
~ Jemar Tisby, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of “The Color of Compromise” and “How to Fight Racism”
Buy the book—Evangelical Anxiety: A Memoir