Burned out. Exhausted. Traumatized. Suffering. Lonely. Angry. Fearful. Grieving. To judge by many religion books on the fall horizon, we're all a mess right now, in desperate need of God's reassurance and restoration. PW asked four editors and publishers if they are seeing more titles and proposals aimed at uplifting people from the spiritual pits. And if so, why now?

"There's no question that it is worse today with anxiety, depression, and loneliness at all-time highs," says Jan Long Harris, executive publisher at large and publisher of the Tyndale Refresh imprint, which is centered on health, wellness, and science, and the house's Christian living imprint Tyndale Momentum. "Stress is overwhelming people, fears of about the economy, or the next pandemic. And now, more than ever, we have instant awareness of all the difficult things happening in the world."

To cut through the noise, all the chaos and unsettling news that has rendered us "shaken," "startled," and "dazed," Momentum has Rev. Chris Lee's title, Know You Are Beloved: Press Pause, Breathe Deeply, and Be Known by God (September). "We all need to know we are seen, known, and loved and Lee is reminding us of this in a winsome way," Long says. This is particularly important now because a lot of people who are leaving communities of faith are leaving their faith behind, too."

Tyndale Refresh aims a title at people staggering alone with their shame, anger, grief, or loneliness. Therapist and professor Chuck Degroat offers techniques to find rest and renewal in Healing What’s Within: Coming Home to Yourself—And to God—When You’re Wounded, Weary, and Wandering (Tyndale Refresh, Oct.). "[Degroat] takes the Genesis story in the garden, a story of humans becoming alienated from God, and he turns it around to show God asking, 'Where are you?' out of compassion. It's a book about reconnecting with God," Long Harris says.

Ignite Your Soul: When Exhaustion, Isolation, and Burnout Light a Path to Flourishing by Mindy Caliguire (Nav Press, Sept.) was written after the Caliguire's spiritual retreat property in Colorado was nearly destroyed by a wildfire. It aims to guide readers toward emotional and spiritual restoration, says Nav Press Senior editor Caitlyn Carlson.

The book is one of many that address "how US evangelical Christians handle (or don’t) disruption, stress, and grief. Grief is not only about death and loss. Grief is about things you wish were more or better or different. To deal with it requires acknowledging vulnerability but the individualistic Protestant DNA we have—that we are strong and can handle things alone—means we don't have the capacity or the tools for facing grief," says Carlson."We have had books on this as long as there has been Christian publishing. But now people are recognizing this more and more books are addressing the fallout for the individualistic person who is dying inside and showing them that God offers us more for an abundant life."

Several forthcoming titles take on the scorching impact of recent years of revelations of abuses and scandals in the church and growing dissatisfaction with unchanging dogma in a changing world. Such "unrest and disbelief" is prompting more books such as St. Martin’s Essentials' October title, Deconstructing: Leaving Church, Finding Faith by Karla Kamstra, says Essentials v-p and editorial director Joel Fotinos.

Kamstra offers advice for escaping "religious trauma" to find personal spiritual freedom. "Where churches were once a refuge, many of them are now part of a larger political agenda," Fotinos says. "Those who have been disenfranchised are now looking to these books for hope and guidance in healing from toxic dogma."

"Trauma" is a word that appears frequently in forthcoming books responding to church abuse, including two Brazos titles, Being a Sanctuary: The Radical Way for the Body of Christ to Be Sacred, Soft, and Safe (Sept.) by Pricelis Perreaux-Dominguez, who has experienced "abuse, trauma, and racism within the church," according to the publisher, and The Church in Dark Times: Understanding and Resisting the Evil That Seduced the Evangelical Movement (Nov.) by Mike Cosper, director of podcasts at Christianity Today.

Books like Being a Sanctuary and The Church in Dark Times "seek to acknowledge wrongdoing at the hands of Christian leaders, and to assure readers that the God of Christian faith doesn’t turn a blind eye to religious hypocrisy but comforts the voiceless and downtrodden in every age.

"These books also invite readers to be a part of creating healthier Christian institutions," says Katelyn Beaty, editorial director for Brazos Press. "We seem to be in a time of reckoning for the American church, when people’s experience inside various Christian institutions has warped their understanding of God."