When I am asked the simplest of questions, “What is your book about?” Attempting to provide a straightforward answer that does justice to the material is a rather difficult process. I think it would be far more beneficial to answer it somewhat indirectly by describing some of my issues although writing it, which will in turn reveal some of the troubles the operate intends to address.
At its core, the book is actually about being a Christian in this post-Christian world and the choices that this reality presents. In some approaches, today’s predicament is similar to that of believers throughout the 1st centuries of the early church. The two easiest alternatives are to reject the culture entirely and attempt to survive in a self-enclosed cultural ghetto or to embrace the culture and merge with it.
Each of those options, however, have severe difficulties in terms of Christian outreach on the 1 hand and apostasy on the other. These subjects I go over at length in chapter a single entitled “Egyptian Gold in a Christian Hand: Models for Relating Cognitive Therapy and Orthodox Pastoral Theology.” Searching at crucial figures in the history of Christianity, I note that there is yet an additional option, which I refer to as discerning openness.
It can be noticed in the functions of Clement of Alexandria, Basil the Great, and Maximus the Confessor among other luminaries of the very first millennium. So, Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy is about applying an method of discerning openness to what could be 1 of the most essential forms of treatment for numerous psychological difficulties of our day.
Of course, I anticipate objections from audiences who really feel extremely strongly about what inspires them in their lives. For instance, some Christians may well point out that Christian tradition in all its numerous manifestations frequently appears to be at odds with contemporary secularism as an ideology that leaves little room for the sacred in human life.
They may well have some extremely reasonable queries such as “Wouldn’t a therapy that grows out of such an ideology be unsafe for the believer? When dealing with the human soul is it theologically acceptable to apply the findings from a quite distinct supply, anthropologically speaking, to how a Christian can much better believe, really feel, and reside? Mightn’t the use of such a source have a harmful effect on the faith of the believer?” These questions are foremost in my thoughts and in each chapter I try to answer them on the basis of the teachings of early Christian writers.
Therapists and counselors in the secular planet will also come to this work with their personal concerns and reservations. Starting with Freud, psychotherapy has been quite suspicious of religion and, at the really least, influenced by the Freudian understanding of religion as a misguided projection of the primitive subconscious.
Psychologists rightly decry the truth that a lot of who appeared to be mentally ill were stigmatized as witches, tortured, and burned at the stake in the West throughout the Dark Ages and even throughout the much more broad-minded Renaissance. Hence, the non-religious psychologist reading this perform may possibly have questions such as “What insight could possibly be derived from figures who take demon possession seriously? Wouldn’t mixing pre-Enlightenment believed with benefits derived from the rigorous application of the scientific strategy be one particular step backwards if not two?”
I have also attempted to be mindful of these queries out of respect for the time, the function, and the genuine human compassion that are also at the foundation of the improvement of the cognitive therapeutic try to relieve human suffering.
And so, the operate begins and continues as a sort of balancing act. But, the aim is not to steer clear of offending specific people, but to be fair to all parties in the hope of recognizing the unified wisdom of God each via revelation and the use of the God-given explanation of the human thoughts.
Of course, it’s a tall order to respond to the ideal of our culture even in its secularity in a way that is somewhat analogous to how the Excellent Cappadocians responded to the ideal of ancient “secularism,” Plato and Aristotle. But I believe that it is an attempt that wants to be produced and a conversation that need to be had. Ancient Christian Wisdom seeks to start that conversation, which is really essential for so numerous folks who suffer from psychological and spiritual problems.