Growth in Patience in Christian Moral Wisdom and Contemporary Positive Psychology

Journal of Beliefs and Values 42 (3):333-347 (2020)
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Moral education requires interdisciplinary engagement across philosophy, psychology, and education. Positive psychologists regularly acknowledge the breadth and depth of wisdom regarding the cultivation of virtues present in philosophical and religious texts and consult such writings when creating constructs, but they are less prone to integrate scientific findings with historical texts as inquiry proceeds. Thus, we provide a comparative analysis of the advice given in Lorenzo Scupoli’s The Spiritual Combat, from traditional Christian moral wisdom literature and the research findings from positive psychology on the cultivation of the virtue of patience. Points of convergence relate to the utility of engaging activities that include cognitive reappraisal, habit formation through daily practice, activating positive motivation, prayer, mantra/transcendental meditation, and cultivating elevation through meditation on moral exemplars. Areas of divergence include the advisability of suppression, the role of motivation, and necessity of spiritual intervention, which suggest areas for future inquiry in moral education.



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Tim Pawl
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

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References found in this work

After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Intellectual Humility: An Introduction to the Philosophy and Science.Ian M. Church & Peter L. Samuelson - 2017 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Edited by Peter L. Samuelson.
Psychology of habit.Wendy Wood & Dennis Rünger - 2016 - Annual Review of Psychology 67 (1):289–314.

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