Anxiety Seminar, August 26, 2022

This fall, I am teaching a seminar at UVA titled “Anxiety: Religious and Theological Perspectives.”

Anxiety is the affliction of most striving college students and the most common mental health disorder of our time. What are its religious and theological meanings, causes, and consolations? 

The seminar will consider these questions in view of three purposes: 

1. To understand anxiety, its causes and meanings, through religious and theological perspectives, asking how certain religious modalities and doctrines influence the psychological formation of persons.  

2. To explore and analyze anxiety in its existential, conceptual, and pathogenic forms, by way of key theological and psychoanalytical texts and through works of literature, film, and memoir, in order to develop a multi-layered account that contributes to our general knowledge of causes and treatment. 

3. To engage, through in-person or virtual class visits, scholars of religion and mental health professionals whose expertise deepen our understandings of anxiety and its remedies. 

The syllabus is here. I look forward to sharing occasional insights – and please check our website and social media for updates on special seminar sessions open to the public.

Charles Marsh