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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 lifeThe 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
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?
Chapter 5. Alternative Cultural Perspectives on Success
Looking in the Mirror
Bushmen of the Kalahari
The Bruderhof Community
Chapter 6. The Bible and the Culture of Success
The Christian Calling
Faith and 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
A Faithful Life Exemplified
Chapter 8. Success for the Disabled
What's in a Name?
Forcing the Disabled to Achieve
Science to the Rescue?
Chapter 9. Called to Dignity
Probing God's Purposes
Hardship and the Heart
Pain and the Culture of Success
Faith, CFIDS, and Culture
A Birthright of Dignity
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CHOICE – Outstanding Academic Title – Award Winner
CHOICE – 2018 Outstanding Academic Title – Award Winner
Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award Winner
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