“Translation” of Ancient Christian Wisdom into Greek

Although the overwhelming majority of readers of this blog are English speakers or have acquired reading proficiency in English, I still thought that I would let all of you know that Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy has just become available in Greek with the title Θεραπεία τῆς Ψυχῆς: Πατέρες καὶ Ψυχολόγοι σὲ Διάλογο, which could be backtranslated into English as Healing of the Soul: Fathers and Psychologists in Dialogue. The Greek version is about one hundred and fifty pages more lengthy than the English counterpart, primarily because the footnotes with patristic … [Read more...]

What’s the Practical Value?

When I select books that I am going to read, I am usually looking for more than novel discoveries and interesting facts. As a monk and as an American, I want something that works, something that I can apply to my own life, or that I can use to offer consolation for the lives of those around me. I am often searching for practical wisdom such as what you find at the end of Saint John Chrysostom’s homilies, in the correspondence of Saints Barsanuphius and John, or in talks by Elder Paisios. While the first half of Ancient Christian Wisdom deals with theory, the remainder has to do with practice. … [Read more...]

The Importance of Thoughts

So, what’s the book about? In a word, thoughts. The New Testament and the Church Fathers both recognize that a person’s spiritual state is a reflection of the thoughts harbored in the heart. Research in cognitive therapy has verified that psychological states of depression, anxiety, and anger are largely a function of the evaluative thoughts that individuals have about their current situation. Obviously, there is something very similar and something very different going on here. What are the similarities? What are the differences? And what does all this mean? To tease out these issues, I … [Read more...]

Fr. Alexis Trader: Being Christian in a Post-Christian World

The following is the second in a series of four guest posts from Fr. Alexis Trader, a priestmonk and spiritual father of Karakallou Monastery on the Holy Mountain, and author of In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord: An Orthodox Interpretation of the Gifts of the Spirit. Fr. Alexis has recently released a new book and it is about his new book that he now writes. (The first, third, and fourth posts have been/will be posted elsewhere, please see the posting schedule at the end of this post.) Questions Beneath the Question: Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy: A Meeting of … [Read more...]

The Story Behind Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy: A Meeting of Minds

Monks are by nature introspective creatures. We turn inward in prayer in order to meet our Savior. We also try to stay active in mind and body. We turn to serve our brother in love and in so doing we encounter our Lord once again. The union of theoria and praxis, thought and action, makes for a joyous monastic life. Sometimes, however, sincere monastics get bogged down and their lives seem quite different from what is described in the lives of the Saints and books by contemporary luminaries. Critical thoughts take hold of our minds and sluggishness characterizes actions that should be a source … [Read more...]

Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy

This work explores the seemingly disparate worlds of cognitive therapy and ancient Christian thought concerning how our thinking influences our emotions, behaviors, and ultimately our lives.  In this innovative study about mental and spiritual health, readers are taken on a journey that explores the theory and techniques of cognitive therapy as well as the perennial teachings of ascetics and monks of the Christian tradition.  This groundbreaking interdisciplinary volume in the art of pastoral counseling, patristic studies, and the interface between psychology and theology will be a coveted … [Read more...]