1st Edition

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Christianity, and Culture
Between God and an Illness

ISBN 9780789014931
Published March 25, 2002 by CRC Press

USD $23.95

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Book Description

Share the Biblical view of the value of human life!

This fascinating first-person account offers an insider's view of what it means to suddenly move from being a healthy, productive member of society to being severely limited. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Christianity, and Culture: Between God and an Illness tells the story of the author and his wife, who were both struck down with CFIDS in the midst of their busy lives of service. Because Dr. Rotholz is also a trained anthropologist, he can bring a scholarly perspective to understanding the social, emotional, and cultural impact of this devastating illness. His devout Christianity gives a Biblical context to this discussion.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Christianity, and Culture: Between God and an Illness analyzes the secular cultural values that make disability seem like shame. Because our culture exalts worldly status and financial success, many CFIDS sufferers find themselves facing a deep sense of humiliation, worthlessness, and failure when their disease puts their lives on hold. Dr. Rotholz offers a Biblical perspective of human beings as the image-bearers of God. This alternative vision of values is exemplified in the culture of the Bushmen of the Kalahari in Africa, the Bruderhof Christian community in the USA, and the life of a Black woman from the American south.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Christianity, and Culture: Between God and an Illness presents a powerfully reasoned, deeply felt analysis of the tug of war between our culture and Biblical standards, including:

  • achievement, status, power, and wealth as the elements of our culture of success
  • the anxiety that lies behind the stress of economic productivity
  • the economic factors that influence our cultural bias against the disabled
  • the Biblical meaning of suffering
  • faithfulness as the Biblical measure of success in life

    The power of this extraordinary book goes well beyond the CFIDS community and even the community of the disabled. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Christianity, and Culture: Between God and an Illness offers a new and meaningful vision of what makes life worth living for anyone, well or ill, young or old. Scholars and practitioners in anthropology, medical sociology, social work, the health professions, pastoral care, and theology will find it a powerful aid to understanding the world of the disabled and treating others with respect. The disabled and those who care for them will call it a blessing.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Forced from the Field of Play
  • Out of Africa
  • Welcome to Stressville
  • My Turn for CFIDS
  • A Frightful Revelation
  • Chapter 2. The View from My Window
  • A Matter of Perspective
  • The Illness Perspective
  • Disability's Double Lens
  • Pain and Faith
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Chapter 3. Doing What Feels Natural
  • The Power of Culture
  • What Is Success?
  • The Elements of Success in American Culture
  • The Elements Converge
  • A Parting Thought
  • Chapter 4. Economics and the Culture of Success
  • A Conflict of Interest
  • The Culture of Success
  • Whither the Disabled?
  • Primal Fear
  • Student Anxiety
  • Contrasting Faith
  • Chapter 5. Alternative Cultural Perspectives on Success
  • Looking in the Mirror
  • Bushmen of the Kalahari
  • Cultural Alternatives
  • The Bruderhof Community
  • Cultural Positioning
  • Chapter 6. The Bible and the Culture of Success
  • The Christian Calling
  • Faith and Power
  • Culture Power
  • What Biblical Success Is Not
  • Quantitative versus Qualitative
  • Chapter 7. A New Vision of Success
  • Success, the Bible, and Culture
  • Faithfulness in the Bible
  • Faithfulness Encompasses All
  • The Love of God
  • Imago Deo
  • A Faithful Life Exemplified
  • Chapter 8. Success for the Disabled
  • Culture Change
  • What's in a Name?
  • Forcing the Disabled to Achieve
  • Science to the Rescue?
  • Chapter 9. Called to Dignity
  • Probing God's Purposes
  • Why Pain?
  • Hardship and the Heart
  • Pain and the Culture of Success
  • Faith, CFIDS, and Culture
  • A Birthright of Dignity
  • Notes
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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