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From Bedlam to «Shalom»

Towards a Practical Theology of Human Nature, Interpersonal Relationships, and Mental Health Care


John Swinton

This book provides a provocative and original insight into the relationship between human nature and mental health. Drawing on his experience within nursing and hospital chaplaincy, John Swinton explores some vital issues surrounding the theology and practice of mental health care. He works out a model of care-in-community that offers a timely corrective to the individualized therapeutic approaches that have come to dominate the field of mental health studies. ‘From Bedlam to Shalom’ argues that genuine mental health care is the work of the whole church community, carried out primarily through the «forgotten» relationship of friendship. By imaging the radical compassion revealed in the friendship of Jesus, the church can recover a vital communal perspective on mental health care and in so doing, move people closer to their nature as creatures made in the image of a God who is love.
The Author: John Swinton, Ph.D., B.D., RMN, and RNMH, worked as a nurse for sixteen years, specializing within the areas of psychiatry and learning disability. He also spent a number of years working within the field of hospital chaplaincy, laterally as a community psychiatric chaplain. He is presently employed as a lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.