FINDING HOPE IN THE AGE OF MELANCHOLY by David S. Awbrey

FINDING HOPE IN THE AGE OF MELANCHOLY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Midlife crises, depression, melancholy, adoration of the self above all, ignoring obligations to the community, humankind, and God--these are all signs to journalist Awbrey that American society is headed for a cataclysmic transformation. Salvation, both individually and collectively, can be found in a return to religious and moral life. Awbrey (ex-Witchita Eagle editorial page editor) was 43 when he attained his childhood ambition of a prestigious editorship--and he immediately began a precipitous slide down the slope of midlife crisis to depression. Surveying the landscape of mined friendship (his climb to the top involved heavy-duty backstabbing), a shaky marriage, numerous but unsatisfying possessions, Awbrey hit bottom. Talk therapy and Prozac followed, but it was a sabbatical at the University of Kansas spent revisiting his graduate school major in religious studies that finally led to an easing of the anguish within. Neither medicine nor sociology can explain the moodiness and anomie rampant in society, says Awbrey. Rather, we are collectively poised at the brink of a societal transformation the magnitude of which preceded such historical eras as the Renaissance and the Reformation. Individually, our melancholy is ""God's way of breaking down human arrogance and renewing the traditional bonds with the divine and its creation."" Experience this pain, ask God for help in understanding it (rather than dulling it with medication or subverting it with feel-good therapies), suggests Awbrey, and a satisfying life rich with meaning will unfold. Awbrey surveys a wide range of well-known literature in philosophy, religion, and psychology (Jung is a favorite), and pulls it together into a coherent presentation of the possibility of comfort and meaning offered by traditional religions. A balanced, reasoned suggestion to try religion, then, from a somewhat unusual source--this may touch a chord in those similarly floundering in midlife.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0316038113
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"