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In Resurrecting the Person, John Swinton argues that while mental illnesses are often biological and genetic in origin, the real handicap experienced by individuals is imposed by the types of reactions, values, and attitudes which are typical of contemporary western society. In other words, how a mental illness is experienced has much to do with how it is socially constructed.How will the church react to this suggestion? Swinton suggests that the key to the effective pastoral care of individuals with severe mental illness lies not only within the realms of psychiatry, therapy, and pharmacological intervention, but in the rehumanization which is borne within the relationship of friendship.
John Swinton (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) holds the chair in practical theology and pastoral care and is director of the centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. His other books include Spirituality and Mental Health Care; Resurrecting the Person; Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil and From Bedlam to Shalom.
Koorong -Editorial Review.