Grace Is a Pre-existing Condition

Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare

David Finnegan-Hosey

Feb/2020, 152 Pages, PAPER, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640651968

  • A theological perspective on mental health and mental health care
  • Offers hope, transformation, and practical guidance for people of faith to respond to the brokenness of this country's mental health system

Emerging from David Finnegan-Hosey's personal experience of living with a diagnosis deemed a "preexisting condition" by insurance companies, this book explores the theological and spiritual dimensions of our public discourse around mental healthcare and mental illness and finds there the transformative reality
of grace.

The author's insights will be of benefit to anyone concerned about creating a more just healthcare system, but particularly those who struggle with–and care for those who struggle with–mental health. Though focusing on mental health, including preexisting conditions and medical debt, his observations are equally applicable to people dealing with a variety of physical and chronic illnesses. While intentionally approaching the subject through the lens of Christian theology, this book is a contribution to a broader conversation about healthcare policy; a conversation which is likely to be in the spotlight in future political debates. Combining the accessibility of personal narrative with issues receiving attention on the national scale, Grace Is a Preexisting Condition can begin vital and creative dialogues at a crucial time for the church and the country.

Audience: General readers, chaplains, caregivers, people with mental or physical illness

DAVID FINNEGAN-HOSEY is the College Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. He is the author of Christ on the Psych Ward. In 2011, David was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a series of psychiatric hospitalizations. He now speaks and writes about the intersections among mental illness, mental health, and faith. David lives in Wilson with his wife, Leigh, and their dog, Penny Lane.


  • mental health
  • mental illness
  • healthcare
  • public policy
  • healing
  • chaplaincy

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