Elizabeth Hayes Alvarez is Associate Professor of Instruction and Undergraduate Program Director for the Department of Religion at Temple University. Her research and teaching interests include American religious history, religion and gender, and cultural studies. She received her Ph.D. in History of Christianity from the University of Chicago, Divinity School. Her book, The Valiant Woman: The Virgin Mary in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2016 ), explores Marian imagery and the female ideal in American popular culture. Sheʼs at work on a new book examining religion and mental health in 19th and 20th c. America.
While for the most part, the field of psychiatry remained immune to and dismissive of Christian attempts to influence them, these conversations led to the incorporation of psychiatric (and sometimes pseudo-psychiatric) modalities into the pastoral counseling movement.
First, we must all remember our history and stop the blatant amnesia behind racial and power dynamics in our field…Women and enslaved persons were not a part of the founders’ initial understanding. The same is true for the founding identities of the Society of Biblical Literature.