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Faithful and Fractured

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Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell and Jason Byassee: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis

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Faithful and Fractured
Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis
(Baker, 2018)

WHO: Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, associate research professor of global health at the Duke Global Health Institute and the Duke Center for Health Inequalities and Research, and Jason Byassee, inaugural Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Hermeneutics at Vancouver School of Theology.

THEY SAY: “The point of ministry is not to eliminate stress but to be present (without being debilitatingly overwhelmed) in the midst of it.”

THE BIG IDEA: While anecdotal evidence has been around for years on the poor state of clergy health, there hasn’t been concrete data from multiple sources to support this claim. This book presents a major, decade-long research project that provides a true—and alarming—picture on clergy’s mental, physical and spiritual well being.

This thoughtful book is organized into eight chapters that are filled with data, tables, illustrations and more to offer a comprehensive look at the state of clergy health.
Rae Jean presents the research in a thorough manner while Jason gives his perspective from the pulpit. Throughout the text are real-life examples readers will be able to relate to.
Among the topics discussed are depression, burnout, stress, different physical diseases and the pressure of doing sacred work.

“It seems likely that clergy will experience extremes of both positive and negative emotions when engaging in their vocation—partly because their work exposes them to the full emotional spectrum that their parishioners encounter but also because clergy are emotionally invested in the work that is sacred to them.”

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