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The Philokalia and the Inner Life On Passions and Prayer by Christopher C. H. Cook

The Philokalia and the Inner Life On Passions and Prayer


The Philokalia and the Inner Life On Passions and Prayer by Christopher C. H. Cook

The Philokalia was published in Venice in 1782. It is an anthology of patristic writings from the Eastern Church, spanning the 4th to the 15th Centuries, which has been the subsequent focus of a significant revival in Orthodox spirituality. It presents an understanding of psychopathology and mental life which is significantly different to that usually encountered in western Christianity. It also presents accounts of both mental wellbeing and the pathologies of the mind or soul which are radically different to contemporary secular accounts and yet which also find remarkable points of similarity with contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches, such as cognitive therapy. The book provides an introduction to the history of the Philokalia and the philosophical, anthropological and theological influences that contributed to its information. It presents a critical account of the pathologies of the soul, the remedies for these pathologies, and the therapeutic goals as portrayed by the authors of the Philokalia. It then offers a critical engagement of this material with a contemporary understanding of psychotherapy. Finally, it raises important questions about the relationship between thoughts and prayer.


This imaginative study succeeds in drawing out the riches of the Philokalia...a taster for a rich spiritual resource as well as a reminder of the essential yoking together of psychological and spiritual well-being.

John Twisleton, New Direction, June 2011

This is a profound work of scholarship and spiritual understanding that can be strongly recommended to believers of any religion or none.

Professor Andrew Sims, Royal College of Psychiatrists- Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group Newsletter, No. 31, June 2011

About the Author

The Reverend Professor Chris Cook, BSc, MB, BS, MD, MA, FRCPsych, is a Research Fellow at Durham University and teaches Spirituality and Pastoral Theology at Cranmer Hall, St John's College, Durham. He is consultant psychiatrist with over 20 years experience in the field of substance misuse. He is author of Alcohol, Addiction & Christian Ethics (CUP 2006), joint author (with Griffith Edwards and Jane Marshall) of the 3rd and 4th editions of the Treatment of Drinking Problems (CUP 1997 and 2003), and lead editor of Spirituality and Psychiatry (RCPsych Publications 2009). He has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters. He is Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health, jointly supported by the Department of Theology & Religion and the School of Medicine and Health at Durham University.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th January 2011


Christopher C. H. Cook

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James Clarke & Co Ltd


402 pages


Christian spirituality & religious experience



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