Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

God’s health and human health: A proposal for the world of well-being

J. Harold Ellens
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a819 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.819 | © 2011 J. Harold Ellens | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 March 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

About the author(s)

J. Harold Ellens, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, United States Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, United States


This article reflects on people’s presuppositions with regard to God’s mental health as it has been recounted throughout history. The article asserts that the dominant report of a ‘sick god’ has nothing to do with God at all, but is, instead, the manifestation of a sick projection of people who are terrified of the unknown and the unpredictable in life. Such a projection reflects their own fears, which they project upon their own mental image of the mentor who they thought was God. The other, sound, report on God’s mental health has encountered many difficulties in competing with the dominant report. The alternative report has met with much resistance, because it seems so humanly unbelievable, in its claim that God is a God of unconditional grace to all humankind.


Contra narrative; dominant narrative; God’s mental health; Psychology of Religion


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