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Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy

A Meeting of Minds

Series:

Alexis Trader

Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy details a colorful journey deep into two seemingly disparate worlds united by a common insight into the way our thinking influences our emotions, behaviors, and ultimately our lives. In this innovative study about mental and spiritual health, readers are not only provided with a thorough introduction to the elegant theory and practical techniques of cognitive therapy, they are also initiated into the perennial teachings of ascetics and monks in the Greek-speaking East and Latin-speaking West whose powerful writings not only anticipated many contemporary findings, but also suggest unexplored pathways and breathtaking vistas for human growth and development. This groundbreaking interdisciplinary volume in the art of pastoral counseling, patristic studies, and the interface between psychology and theology will be a coveted addition to the working libraries of pastors and psychologists alike. In addition, it is ideal as a textbook for seminary classes in pastoral theology and pastoral counseling, as well as for graduate courses in psychology dealing with the relationship between psychological models and religious worldviews.
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Introduction. Reason and Speech: Timeless Truth and Secular Echoes 1

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❖ I N T R O D U C T I O N ❖ Reason and Speech: Timeless Truth and Secular Echoes ould an ancient mystical path of inner transformation, most rigorously pursued and explored by monks and hermits, possibly bear much resemblance to what now seems to be establishing itself as the stan- dard psychotherapeutic approach to living an effective and rational life? Would they not of necessity lie worlds apart, reflecting two different mindsets, one pre-modern and the other modern and indeed post-modern—one rational and secular, and the other mystical and sacred? As the first century Christian theologian Tertullian asked: “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?”1 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”2 In this short verse, from the prologue to the Gospel of Saint John, the Beloved Disciple and Evangelist of the Word proclaims the apostolic experience of revelation to be the fount of the highest form of knowledge. But this needs to be properly understood not as the statement of a dogmatic claim, accessible only to faith, but rather as an invitation to a dimension of noetic or mystical experience that can lead to a radical transformation of the soul. Through the transfiguring experience of beholding Christ in glory, the apostles and saints experienced their senses being refined, their thoughts being made luminous, and they believed that they came to...

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