Depression and the Catholic church: A genealogy of accommodation and subject-formation
Randall, Amanda Ziemba
Faubion, James D.
Master of Arts
A genealogy of institutional Catholic discourse on depression reveals a strategic process of epistemic accommodation that supports the construction of the condition as a spiritual and moral problem. The hierarchy defends its stake in Catholic subject-formation through competition and complicity with psychiatric models of depression. Positing secular society as a risk to mental health, the Church proposes a cure for depression that is also a solution to the twin crises of ecclesial authority and postmodern culture. That is the evangelization of EuroAmerican culture through the resurrection of Catholic moral pedagogy and technologies of the self. Thus, depression serves as a discursive field for the operation of Catholic governmentality.
Religious history; Cultural anthropology; Church history; Clinical psychology