Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. A Meeting of Minds.

  1. Lemma
  2. Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. A Meeting of Minds.
  3. English
  4. Delli, Eudoxie
  5. Key thinkers - Modes of interaction - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Cult and spirituality - Orthodox Anthropology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Premodern _modern_ postmodern - Natural and the supernatural
  6. 26-1-2017
  7. Trader, (Hieromonk) Alexios [Author]. Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. A Meeting of Minds.
  8. Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. A Meeting of Minds. - New York: Peter Lang [Series: American University studies VII, Theology and religion], 2011.
  9. Clement of Alexandria - Saint Basil the Great - Maximus the Confessor - Cappadocian Fathers - gnosticism - theosis (divinization in Christ) - Freud - Cognitive behavioral therapy - Beck, Aaron Tempkin - Ellis, Albert
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    1. <p>Trader, (Hieromonk) A. (2011). <em>Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. A Meeting of Minds. </em>New York: Peter Lang </p>
    1. The book details a journey into two seemingly disparate worldviews of theology and psychology, united by a common insight into the way our thinking influences the emotions or behaviours embracing the whole human life. The author focusing on mental and spiritual health and brimming over with practical insights and useful techniques, provides his readers with a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practical techniques of cognitive therapy, and the teachings of ascetics and monks in the Greek-speaking East and Latin-speaking West whose writings, according to the author, not only anticipated many contemporary findings, but also suggest unexplored pathways for human growth and development.

      The book has an interdisciplinary character dealing with the relationship between the proven methods of cognitive therapy (which follows from the ancient Stoic insights that there are not events that make us happy or unhappy, but our interpretations of them) and the ancient wisdom of two thousand years of spiritual practice.

      At its core, Fr Alexis Trader treats the subject of being a Christian in this post-Christian world and the choices that this reality presents. According to him, today's situation is similar to that of believers during the first centuries of the early church. The two easiest options are to reject the modern culture and try to survive in a self-enclosed cultural ghetto or to embrace the culture and merge with it. Both of those choices, however, have severe problems in terms of Christian outreach on the one hand and apostasy on the other. Looking at important figures in the history of Christianity, the author notes that there is yet another option, which he refers to as discerning openness. It can be seen in the works of Clement of Alexandria, Saint Basil the Great and Maximus the Confessor. In this perspective, the author aims to apply an approach of discerning openness to what may be one of the most important forms of treatment for various psychological problems of our day.

      In addition, the author copes with the possible objections and reservations addressed both by Christian audiences – who feel very strongly about what inspires them in their lives – and by Therapists and counsellors in the secular world, like: What insight could possibly be derived from figures who take demon possession seriously? or Wouldn't mixing pre-Enlightenment thought with results derived from the rigorous application of the scientific method be one step backwards if not two?

      The author’s aim is not to avoid offending certain people, but to be fair to all parties in the hope of recognizing the unified wisdom of God both through Revelation and through the use of the God-given reason of the human mind. He proposes to face secularity in a way that is somewhat analogous to how the Great Cappadocian responded to the best of ancient "secularism," Plato and Aristotle. He underlines the necessity of a dialogue, in which he wants to contribute, because he judges it as really important for so many people who suffer from psychological and spiritual problems.

      The book contains an expansive wealth of material and information and also provides an excellent introduction to the pastoral practices of the Church Fathers and how they approach the art of spiritual guidance and healing, with vast references and quotes from their original writings; it also presents a complete and reader-friendly introduction to Cognitive Therapy, including its theory and techniques; and most significant of all, it draws surprising connections and also highlights the underlying differences between these two approaches.

      The idea that the tradition of ancient Christian asceticism and Orthodox spirituality in specific can be comprehended as a form of psychotherapy, was already argued generally by Fr John Romanides (who saw the Church as a “spiritual hospital”); worked out in theory by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos in his classic Orthodox Psychotherapy; and explicated by the Archbishop Athanasios of Limassol (Fr Maximos) in Kyriakos Markides’ very popular Mountain of Silence. Fr Alexios follows this line of thought and develops it further and in a more systematic and comprehensive way.



      Foreword by H. Tristram Engelhardt (p. ix)

      Preface (p. xiii)

      List of Abbreviations (p. xv)

      Introduction: Reason and Speech: Timeless Truth and Secular Echoes (p. 1)

      Part I: Methodologies and Philosophies

      Chapter 1. Egyptian Gold in a Christian Hand: Models for Relating Cognitive Therapy and Orthodox Pastoral Theology (p. 9)

      Chapter 2. Worlds Apart: Myth, Method, and Metaphysics (p. 23)

      Part II: Theories of Thoughts, Pathology, and Recovery

      Chapter 3. A Patristic Voyage through the Cognitive Model (p. 49)

      Chapter 4. A Comparative Anatomy of Psychopathology: Thoughts, Self, and Childhood (p. 77)

      Chapter 5. The Fisherman's Art and the Scientist's Method: Two Images for Metacognition and Two Types of Education (p. 109)

      Part III: Human Practitioners and People in Need

      Chapter 6. Reflections from an Unlikely Portrait Gallery: Spiritual Fathers and Cognitive Therapists (p. 141)

      Part IV: Strategies for Therapeutic Change

      Chapter 7. Following Ariadne's Thread: Problems, Goals, Experiments, and Behavioral Interventions (p. 169)

      Chapter 8. To Survey the Thoughts is to Calm Them: Theoria, Watchfulness, and Preliminary Cognitive Skills (p. 195)

      Chapter 9. Cultivating the Garden of the Heart: Patristic Counsel and Cognitive Techniques for Schema Reconstruction (p. 217)

      Chapter 10 Final Coda: The Chorus of the Fathers and the Harmonies of Cognitive Therapy (p. 251)

      Notes (p. 263) - Bibliography (p. 321) - Index (p. 335)