Friday, 16 June 2006

Depressed theologians?

I was talking with a friend recently about depression. And this got me thinking about some of the Christian theologians who have suffered from depression. Of course, there are problems involved in diagnosing people from earlier centuries, but it does seem that many important theological thinkers have suffered from depression, and sometimes from severe depression.

Some names that come to mind are Augustine, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Søren Kierkegaard, Adolf Schlatter, Rudolf Otto (who may even have attempted suicide), and Paul Tillich. Interestingly, in some cases, the experience of depression seems to have played a formative role in the person’s theological development—just think of Luther or Kierkegaard!

Anyway, do you know of any other theologians who have experienced depression?


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