Maximus and modern Psychology

  1. Lemma
  2. Ἄγιος Μάξιμος και σύγχρονη Ψυχολογία.
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Delli, Eudoxie
  5. Modes of interaction - Scientific theories and disciplines > Psychology-Psychoanalysis - Orthodox Anthropology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Premodern _modern_ postmodern - Key thinkers
  6. 28-1-2017
  7. Bakker, (Protopresbyter) Michael [Author]. Maximus and modern Psychology
  9. Maximus the Confessor - Evagrius Ponticus - Macarius/Symeon - Plato - Stoicism - Freud - Jung, Carl - Nemesius of Emesa - Macarius/Symeon - Berdyaev - superconscious (Assagioli, R. G.) - supraconscious (Staniloae, D.)
    1. <p>Bakker, (Protopresbyter), M. (2016). Ἄγιος Μάξιμος και σύγχρονη Ψυχολογία.  <em>ΨΥΧΗΣ</em> <em>ΔΡΟΜΟΙ</em>, <em>ΙΙ</em>, 24-39.</p>
    1. In his article, Fr Michael Bakker attempts in an exemplary way to cross the vocabularies of Patristic Theology and contemporary Psychology, making a much needed endeavor. The author correlates select writings of Saint Maximus with both cognitive therapy and psychoanalysis.

      In his meticulous analysis, Fr Bakker underlines the relation of psychology to epistemology and anthropology. In approaching the texts of Maximus the Confessor, he detects a great variety of terms and concepts linked to the psychic life (such as disposition, habitus, willing, gnomic and natural will, passions, sensation, intellect, heart, logismoi, hidden part of the Soul etc.). The author concretizes their meaning by a creative hermeneutical use of Orthodox spiritual and anthropological tradition (Evagrius Ponticus, Nemesius of Emess, Pseudo-Dionysius, Macarius/Symeon) including also its philosophical background (Plato and Stoics), with the aim to construct conceptual bridges between them and modern psychological theories and practices.

      In this framework, Fr Bakker examines how certain aspects of Saint Maximus’s theology can meet in the horizontal plane with cognitive psychotherapy (CBT), and in the vertical one with Psychoanalysis.

      The study of terms and concepts linked to the psychic realm as an a priori condition can help gain a better understanding between the psychologist / psychiatrists and the theologians, while it will provide them with rich conceptual tools to understand the modern man. It is striking, according to the author, how psychic life can be apprehended and described in terms that deviate significantly from each other, but also promise the possibility to drawn in both terminological and conceptual systems in order to describe and deepen its complexity.