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Psychiatry in scripture: sacred texts and psychopathology

  • Christopher C. H. Cook (a1)

The engagement of psychiatry with religion is increasingly important for better understanding of the ways in which religious people find resources to cope with mental disorder. An example of how a more critical and constructive engagement might be achieved is found in the psychiatric literature on sacred texts. Articles which engage with the alleged psychopathology of the 6th-century BC Hebrew prophet Ezekiel are examined as an example of this and proposals are made for a more critical yet sensitive and constructive future debate.

Corresponding author
Christopher C. H. Cook (
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Quoted English translations of Ezekiel are all from the Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version Bible, 1989.

Declaration of interest

C.C.H.C. is Chair of the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group (SPSIG) at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The views expressed in this article are his own. The SPSIG does not adopt any particular position in relation to the matters debated in this article, but welcomes open debate about this and other matters related to spirituality and psychiatry, both in publication and at its meetings. C.C.H.C. is an Anglican priest, and is Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University.

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Psychiatry in scripture: sacred texts and psychopathology

  • Christopher C. H. Cook (a1)
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