The Philokalia and the Inner Life
On Passions and Prayer
By Christopher C. H. Cook
Christopher C. H. Cook focuses on the text of Philokalia, providing an intriguing and analytic work which is considered a critical examination of the spirituality of the Philokalia in relation to contemporary understandings of psychotherapy.
The author, like the shepherd of thoughts and ideas on the ‘mountain of contemplation’, explores intelligently the nature of mental well-being and inner life, as well as presenting an account of the pathologies of the soul (passions) and considering the remedies for them.
These aspects comprise several steps towards proper understanding of the Philokalia and human experience of thoughts, passions and prayer. Cook presents not only contextual information (various influences and foundations that have helped to shape the writing), but also examines the challenge and consequences of what occurs when human-beings attempt to control their confused and disordered minds and finally raises important questions about the relationships between thoughts and prayer.
The book is essential reading for those interested in the contemporary world of psychotherapy, spirituality, the Philokalia texts and also a fruitful prayer as a path to mental well-being.
About the Author: The Reverend Professor Chris Cook is a Research Fellow at Durham University and teaches Spirituality and Pastoral Theology at Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, Durham. He is also a consultant psychiatrist with over twenty years of experience. As well as publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters, he is also Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health. His other published works include Alcohol, Addiction & Christian Ethics, and he was joint author of The Treatment of Drinking Problems.
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