Welcome to Healthy Belief — Healthy Spirit Seminars by Dr. Linda Mercadante. For over 20 years, I have been helping people grow a healthier spirituality through good theology. It is my belief that bad theology kills, but good theology helps your spirit thrive! Our beliefs do matter. In fact, beliefs play an integral part in every aspect of our lives: our thoughts, our actions, our hopes and our relationships. Bad theology can be linked to such human tragedies as addiction, domestic violence, sexism, prejudice, victimization, and other problems.
Even so, many people are afraid to confront their inherited religious beliefs, feel compelled to give them up, or believe they must walk away from all organized faith groups. These are not necessarily the best choices. Of course it is crucial to correct misinterpretations, but you need not abandon your faith heritage or to reject religion entirely. Instead, your heritage and beliefs can be renewed, reframed, or you can be helped to choose a more adequate theological basis for your life.
Linda Mercadante knows first-hand how it feels to live without a clear spiritual identity. Born into an immigrant, working class, mixed ethnic, non-religious household in the rough urban environment of Newark, NJ, she experienced prejudice, lack of acceptance, and the uncertainty that comes from not having a spiritual home. She went through years of searching, travel, and exploration in her quest for a spiritual identity. In the process, she earned a Ph.D. in theology from Princeton, became ordained, and found a vocation in seminary teaching. She is dedicated to helping others find a spiritual identity that can allow their spirits to come home.
You can read Dr. Mercadante’s story in her most recent book: Bloomfield Avenue: A Jewish-Catholic Jersey Girl’s Spiritual Journey [Rowman & LIttlefield, Cowly Imprint, 2006]. Dr. Mercadante is a prolific author of more than 50 articles and five books, she lectures internationally, conducts seminars to a wide variety of audiences, and teaches on such topics as addiction recovery, gender and theology, faith and film, and spiritual memoir writing.
This year Dr. Mercadante was named a Luce Scholar for her work examining the beliefs and practices of today’s “Spiritual but not Religious.” The coveted Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology is awarded to only six scholars per year throughout the entire U.S. and Canada. Her project, entitled “Untethered Belief, Unfettered Practice: Thinking Theologically about ‘Spiritual but not Religious’“, be published sometime next year.
Dr. Mercadante is B. Robert Straker Professor of Historical Theology at The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, a member of the Scioto Valley Presbytery, and an active participant in many professional groups including The American Academy of Religion and The Workgroup on Constructive Theology. She is a Fellow of The Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton and The Ecumenical Institute at St. John’s University. In addition to the Luce award, she has received numerous grants from such groups as The Louisville Institute and The Association of Theological Schools. This year she was elected to the “Theologies of Religious Pluralism” project of the American Academy of Religion. She has also served as Visiting Scholar in Media & Theology at The University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Please contact Dr. Mercadante for a full resume and bibliography or download the pdf on this site under “Resources.”
Video: Dr. Mercadante explains how she became a theologian. [Scroll to middle of this video presented at the American Academy of Religion Nov. 2011] http://jeffkclarke.com/2011/12/23/a-tribute-to-clark-pinnock-life-and-theology-november-2011/