About the Book

With 2,000 religious denominations and nearly 500,000 churches and temples in the United States, the Bible is not only doctrinally confusing but behaviorally confusing, too. Is it a sin to drink alcohol? Will prayer cure the sick? Is homosexuality an abomination? Why is celibacy so highly valued? Do belief and feminism mix? In this enlightening and entertaining work, Armando Favazza explores these and other questions and examines the impact of the Bible on behavior through time and space—from the Holy Book's gradual formation thousands of years ago to the present day. This is an indispensable work for all those interested in better understanding the foundations of society's—and perhaps even their own—beliefs and behaviors, and is a thought-provoking read for those not afraid to inform—or perhaps even challenge—their faith.

About the Author

Armando R. Favazza is professor of psychiatry at the University of Missouri–Columbia Medical School and internationally renowned for his work on culture and psychiatry. His previous book, Bodies Under Siege, is considered a classic in the field.

“Professor Favazza’s text is a challenge for us all to think seriously about how we developed our religious beliefs and how we use God and religion in our personal and professional lives. Cowards need not pick up this brilliantly written book. Only those courageous enough to explore the nature of their connection—or lack of it—to God and religion.”

—Professor Ezra Griffith, Yale University

Op-ed in Los Angeles Times


ISBN: 0-9728875-0-4/0-9728875-1-2  


SRP: $40.00/$19.95 (hardcover/paperback)

Page count: 432 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: January 2004

Ebook availability: Yes

Foreword by Marc Galanter. Preface. Introduction. God Bless the God Who Has His Own. Once upon a Time the Devil... Don't Spoil the Soup: Women in the Bible. Comme Ça: Homosexuality and the Bible. God in a Bottle: Alcohol and the Bible. Creeping Things: Animals and the Bible. Something about the Body. Praise the Lord and Pass the Medication: Healing and Feeling Good. True, False, and Useful. Back to God and the Bible: Joy and Suffering. Notes. Bibliography. Index.



Article on Dr. Favazza’s PsychoBible in Illumination

PsychoBible is an invaluable resource for all who want to understand the biblical underpinnings for certain beliefs and behaviors. Coming at a time of renewed interest in the relationship between religion and psychiatry, it is scholarly and illuminating. I highly recommend it.”

Professor Mary McCarthy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University


“The most important tool for crafting the future is a solid grasp of the past. Conclusions about the roots of contemporary society are often limited, facile, and inaccurate. In this book, Dr. Favazza traces the origins of many of our central beliefs and practices. In a conversational tone and a readable format, he supplies comprehensive, scholarly information to inform our discussions about individual psychology and social policy. PsychoBible is a fascinating and monumental work.”

Dr. Nada Stotland, Secretary-elect, American Psychiatric Association

“Allow Dr. Favazza to take you on an enlightening tour through the most influential book in the Western world. With his help you will capture its terrible contradictions, its cruel and holy advice. You will learn that its messages often lie in the eyes of its beholders. You will discover another way to cosmic awareness. Dr. Favazza is a modern-day Dante.”

Dr. Bernard Beitman, national award-winning author of Learning Psychotherapy

“Dr. Favazza is a prominent psychiatrist who has written a book that examines how stories in both the Old and New Testament of the Bible can be used to explain behavior in today’s tumultuous times. Readers will gain insights into their personalities that psychiatry cannot yet provide. I recommend this book highly to all those interested in understanding the complexities of human behavior.”

Benjamin Sadock, Menas S. Gregory Professor, New York University and Editor of the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry


“In PsychoBible, internationally renowned cultural psychiatrist Dr. Armando Favazza takes an in-depth look at religion and the Holy Bible. He provides important psychological insight into numerous biblical figures and situations, and opens the door to greater understanding of religion from a mental health perspective. This unique and fascinating book is certain to stimulate scholars, benefit laymen, and touch the lives of many people.”

Professor Wen-Shing Tseng, University of Hawaii and Former Chair of the Transcultural Section of the World Psychiatric Association

PsychoBible offers the best ever scientific understanding of the impact of religion on behavior. It is a must read book not only for those interested in the mental health profession but also for members of the religious community and everyone interested in learning more about the Bible and behavior.”

Professor Pedro Ruiz, University of Texas-Houston Past President of the American College of Psychiatrists



Advance Praise

In lively, witty, certain to be controversial chapters, Favazza delineates contradictory messages about current issues in the Bible.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch