Radically Open: Transcending Religious Identity in an Age of Anxiety

America stands in the throes of an anxiety epidemic, yet Americans live in one of the most religious countries in the world? Shouldn’t people with deep spiritual roots be less vulnerable to emotional suffering? Such an enigma stands at the center of this book, but the enigma turns out to be more apparent than real. The overt religiosity so characteristic of modern American society ironically serves to foster the anxiety epidemic by locking people into a disenchanted secular mindset, leaving them cut off from the deep spiritual resources they so desperately need in the face of mounting anxiety. Based on the author’s own journey through the darkness of anxiety in conversation with the psychology of Carl Jung, this book argues that transcending religious identity and submitting to the greater wisdom of the cosmic story holds a powerful key to resolving anxiety and creating a more just and sustainable world. Surprisingly, the Islamic tradition may provide one of the best models for how to accomplish this.

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: 978-1-62032-042-6
Pages: 144
Binding: Paperback
Publication Date: 11/09/2012
Street Date: 11/09/2012
Division: Cascade Books
Category: Theology

“[An] erudite, masterful, thought-provoking, penetrating, engaging, honest, and insightful study of the modern epidemic of anxiety and its relationship with superficial religiosity. I am in awe of Shedinger’s work. A must-read for both secular and religious folks as well as followers of all religious traditions.”
—Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Fiqh Council of North America

“In this cogent critique of the status quo, Shedinger identifies a surprising candidate as the cause of many of our personal and communal woes. His challenge to move beyond the religious identity labels—like ‘Christian’ and ‘Jew’—that we cling to will likely shock some readers and anger others, but it merits careful consideration. This book is a cri de couer that is rendered all the more powerful and persuasive by the way Shedinger links it to key moments in his own journey through life.”
—John Kaltner, Rhodes College

“Shedinger offers an absorbing, interdisciplinary examination of one of the preeminent problems of our time: the modern epidemic of anxiety and depression. Drawing upon wide-ranging sources in the study of religion, psychology, and sociology—as well as his own personal experiences with anxiety—Shedinger offers an innovative, bold, and ultimately inspiring analysis of our contemporary condition.”
—Jenna Reinbold, Colgate University

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