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Robert F. Shedinger is Associate Professor of Religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
America stands in throes of an anxiety epidemic, yet Americans live in one of the most religious countries in the world? Shouldn't people with deep spiritual roots be less vulnerable to emotional suffering? Such an enigma stands at the center of this book, but the enigma turns out to be more apparent than real. The overt religiosity so characteristic of modern American society ironically serves to foster the anxiety epidemic by locking people into a disenchanted secular mindset, leaving them cut off from the deep spiritual resources they so desperately need in the face of mounting anxiety. Based on the author's own journey through the darkness of anxiety in conversation with the psychology of Carl Jung, this book argues that transcending religious identity and submitting to the greater wisdom of the cosmic story holds a powerful key to resolving anxiety and creating a more just and sustainable world. Surprisingly, the Islamic tradition may provide one of the best models for how to accomplish this.