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“Translation” of Ancient Christian Wisdom into Greek

October 24, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 3.53.26 PMAlthough 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 sources contain the full original source texts in Byzantine Greek, Ecclesiastical Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Latin, and even Russian (the English version has the publisher-preferred endnotes streamlined and with a minimum of original source material). It is probably not completely accurate to call this a translation. The fact of the matter is that I worked on the book chapter-by-chapter in both English and Greek over the span of several years, with the Greek version influencing the English rendition and the English version influencing the Greek translation.

It has been a wonderful experience working on this project that gave me the opportunity to think about important issues twice in two languages. Interestingly enough, it is extremely easy to speak about theology in Greek, easier than in English in fact, but it is quite cumbersome to write about modern psychology in Greek with imported English constructs. There was even a major issue on the proper translation of Cognitive Psychology, because Cognitive therapy in Greek is translated as γνωστική ψυχοθεραπεία, which would be backtranslated into English as gnostic psychotherapy, reminiscent of the gnostic heresy of the second and third centuries! Professor Anestis Keselopoulos, my dissertation adviser and longtime friend, has been steadfastly  encouraging me on this project for the last six years and kindly wrote a beautiful prologue to the volume. With the Greek publication, the long process has finally come to an end.

And for any Greek speakers, this is the description of the book from the Greek publisher: Το βιβλίο περιγράφει λεπτομερώς ένα ζωντανό ταξίδι βαθιά μέσα σε δύο, εκ πρώτης όψεως, διαφορετικούς κόσμους, οι οποίοι συνδέονται από μια κοινή γνώση του τρόπου με τον οποίο η σκέψη μας επηρεάζει τα συναισθήματα, τη συμπεριφορά και εν τέλει ολόκληρη τη ζωή μας. Σε αυτή την κοινοτόμο μελέτη για την ψυχική και πνευματική υγεία, ο αναγνώστης συναντά μία ολοκληρωμένη εισαγωγή στη ευφυή θεωρία και τις πρακτικές τεχνικές της γνωστικής θεραπείας αλλά και επίσης εισάγεται και στις διαχρονικές διδαχές των ασκητών και μοναχών της ελληνόφωνης Ανατολής και της λατινόφωνης Δύσης, των οποίων η πεφωτισμένη γραφή προέβλεψε πολλά σύγχρονα ευρύματα αλλά επίσης και πρότεινε ανεξερεύνητες δυνατότητες και προοπτικές. Αυτός ο πρωτοποριακός διεπιστημονικός τόμος με θέμα την ποιμαντική θεολογία, την ορθόδοξη πατρολοηία και τη σύνδεση μεταξύ ψυχολογίας και της θεολογίας θα αποτελέσει μία πολυπόθητη προσθήκη στις βιβλιοθήκες τόσο των πνευματικών όσο και των ψυχολόγων (About the Book in Greek).

One Comment
  1. Axios! Axios! Axios!

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