Daily Beast

“Hitting puberty in the heart of the Bible Belt is a weird journey, as Charles Marsh explains in this excerpt from his memoir Evangelical Anxiety. His solution was even weirder.”


David Dark, Evangelical Anxiety

“Christianity is transparency or it’s nothing at all. Charles opts for transparency. It’s a risky move, but it’s also a profound gift. Given the threats we face on account of Christian supremacists accorded inordinate public trust, Evangelical Anxietyis also a form of public service.”


Matthew Wiley, Seminary Anxiety, Mere Orthodoxy

“Marsh’s memoir is kind of like the cocktail you’d get from combining the two — one part religion, one part mental health, strained through introspection and garnished with vulnerability. It’s surprising and courageous, with notes of redemption.”


Dinah Miller MD, Religious Fundamentalism and Later-Life Anxiety, Medscape

“It’s an illuminating journey, often sad and disturbing, sometimes funny and endearing, and ultimately uplifting. In our skeptical world where psychiatrists are so are often undone, it is refreshing to read a memoir where the psychiatrist is the good guy and the patient emerges healed and whole.”


BookNotes, Hearts & Minds Bookstore

“It is rare when I make time for an immediate repeat but this book was so engaging – that is, it was very well-written in a way that was artful and richly-crafted but was equally inviting and enjoyable. Not every book that is written with literary verve and gorgeous prose is, frankly, still that interesting. This, though, a memoir of a journey in and coming out of a southern sort of fundamentalism, and finding a way through the hurts and hang-ups of that milieu, is a page-turner.”


New Books from UVA authors, UVA Today

“Marsh’s memoir, partly set in Charlottesville and at UVA, follows the journey of a religious young man trying to reconcile his faith with the changes of growing up along with the growing reality that he suffers from an anxiety disorder that threatens to derail his life.”


Rolling Stone Interview with Alex Morris

“Marsh’s book is an erudite glimpse into the psychology of white evangelicalism and how the current proliferation of white Christian nationalism could spring from the religious imperatives Marsh details.”


Englewood Review of Books (starred review)

“A poignant and vital story of deep soul work, Evangelical Anxiety helps us look beyond the stigma that leaves too many people in pain and offers people of faith a way forward to find the help they need while remaining true to their beliefs.”


Adam Shields, Bookwi.se

“Evangelical memoirs and autobiographies tend to present a neat, problem-solved perspective on their lives. Charles Marsh’s memoir does not have a nice bow on it. He has grappled with debilitating anxiety and depression and other mental health issues, and the language and revelations will offend or scandalize many.”


Bill Tammeus’ Faith Matters blog

“This book is a revelatory account of Marsh’s journey. People of any faith struggling with mental illness can find a path toward hope in this book. And that hope may, as it did for Marsh, lead to some level of healing.”


Kate Bellody, Library Journal (starred review)

“Marsh (God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights) reconciles his struggles with anxiety and with his Evangelical Christian faith in this candid, captivating memoir. Marsh, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, reflects on living with anxiety and the tension between treating his mental health and looking to his spiritual community and beliefs for support. He writes intimately of his decision to seek treatment with psychoanalysis and explores the diverging belief systems he grappled with by looking to key moments, including his childhood as the son of a Southern preacher, his marriage, and theology school. Marsh’s book will appeal broadly to fans of literary nonfiction and particularly those looking for a relatable memoir on spirituality or mental health. His visceral depictions of anxiety and thoughtful reflections on both his faith and his upbringing will resonate with readers. Readers interested in memoirs that explore spirituality and mental health may also enjoy Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman. VERDICT A bold, thought-provoking memoir on the intersections of faith and mental health.


Jemar Tisby, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Compromise and How to Fight Racism

“Marsh probes the realms of piety and mental health with engrossing prose and naked honesty, showing us how the sacred can be found in literature and on the therapist’s couch. Anyone curious about a better way to navigate mental health and belief will find hope and inspiration in this book.”


Patricia Hampl, author of The Art of the Wasted Day and The Florist’s Daughter

“A faith memoir that proves religion is not the business of pious devotion but unbridled desire. Marsh stalks this unruly passion to the knife’s edge of mental exhaustion and breakdown. A harrowing book but, weirdly and wonderfully, also a hoot. I kept laughing aloud—and then sighing. A remarkable achievement.”


James K. A. Smith, Calvin University, editor in chief, Image, author of You Are What You Love and On the Road with Saint Augustine

“This is a bold, beautiful memoir, at once transgressive and faithful. Marsh embodies a theology with the courage to tackle the taboo, including depression and desire, in prose that is evocative and seductive. In the end, we learn that the most astounding grace is found in the God we can tell our secrets.”


Dinah Miller MD, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and author of Shrink Rap: Psychiatrists Explain Their Work

“In this beautifully choreographed memoir, Charles Marsh’s lyrical prose dances as he recounts a tormenting anxiety disorder. Eventually he finds solace through years of a masterfully-described psychoanalysis (later supplemented with a bit of Prozac). Evangelical Anxiety is a courageous memoir where Christianity and psychoanalysis –worlds that rarely converge—interweave.”


W. Ralph Eubanks, author of A Place Like Mississippi

“Marsh challenges the church to reckon with the mental health of the faithful, to be more open and accepting of how many of us struggle. Through gripping and honest storytelling, Marsh reveals the ways in which therapy can be a form of prayer.”


Darcey Steinke, author of Flash Count Diary

“Examines Christianity’s fraught relationship to the erotic, and how Marsh suffered under religion’s often impossible precepts. From the kudzu-strangled landscapes of his Deep South childhood to the spiritual salve of literary novels to the theological integrity of psychoanalysis, Evangelical Anxiety is as transgressive as it is vibrant.”


Jamie Quatro, author of Fire Sermon and I Want To Show You More

“This reads like balm. Marsh seamlessly twines profound theological insights with his own story of mental breakdown and psychotherapy, which he comes to see as an incarnational practice: word-made-flesh as a trajectory to wholeness. An achingly intelligent, beautifully written memoir, essential reading for anyone wrestling with the specious sacred/secular divide.”


Publishers Weekly

“Dark and sometimes bawdy humor enlivens the proceedings, making for an endearing and rewardingly unusual account of mental illness and faith. This candid and funny volume hits the mark.”