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Four Faces of Anger : Seneca, Evagrius Ponticus, Cassian, and Augustine - Gertrude Gillette

Four Faces of Anger

Seneca, Evagrius Ponticus, Cassian, and Augustine

Paperback Published: 18th June 2010
ISBN: 9780761851691
Number Of Pages: 178

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Four Faces of Anger brings to the modern age wisdom on the topic of anger by four ancient authors. These authors are broadly representative of the classic views on anger in the tradition: Seneca, the first century A.D. stoic philosopher whose moral teaching won the admiration of pagans and Christians alike, even that of the irascible Jerome; Evagrius, who represents the monastic anchoretic tradition of the desert and its emphasis on the spiritual growth of the individual; Cassian, who trained in the same desert---shaped this tradition to speak to cenobites in the West. Our last author, Augustine, treats of the subject both as monastic legislator for his monks and as bishop for his lay congregation. His Rule for monks has one whole chapter devoted to the topic of how to deal with anger in a community setting. Although his initial ideas, expressed in abstractions and ideals, are important foundations for communal living, Augustine goes on to teach that the genuine work of building a loving and unified community is realized in the concrete struggles of human nature striving to overcome the tendencies of individualism and egoism. Anger, a force that often breaks down and prevents the growth of community, must eventually be squarely faced and, according to all of the monastic authors discussed in this book, the sooner the better. This chapter also includes several instances in Augustine's own life when he had to deal with anger in himself, in his congregation, or in the wider world that often solicited his help.

The reader will soon realize that the Christian authors are not much interested in what anger is from a psychological perspective---though their treatment of anger is not entirely devoid of this element---but their focus is rather on how the vice of anger inhibits the spiritual growth of the soul and its relationship with God.

Everyone, whether monastic or not, will glean from these pages the essential elements of detecting, eliminating, and controlling the negative side of this emotion so that he or she will advance on the spiritual journey unshackled by this all-too-pervasive human passion.

Abbreviationsp. viii
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Seneca: A Stoic Approachp. 1
Lifep. 1
Philosophical Backgroundp. 1
What is Anger?p. 3
Is Anger Natural or Useful?p. 5
How Does Anger Behave?p. 7
The Causes or Stimuli of Angerp. 7
External Stimulip. 7
Internal Stimulip. 7
Characteristics of Angerp. 8
How is Anger Cured?p. 9
The General Rulesp. 9
For childrenp. 9
For adultsp. 9
Reform of the Mindp. 10
Behavioral Skillsp. 11
Precautionary stepsp. 11
Immediate remediesp. 12
Conclusion: the Benefitsp. 13
Evagrius Ponticus: The Desert Approachp. 21
Introductionp. 21
Lifep. 21
Evagrius' Teaching on the Evil Thoughtsp. 22
Anger: What It Isp. 24
Causes: Why Does a Monk Become Angry?p. 26
Anger: What it Doesp. 27
What Anger does to Prayerp. 29
The Good of Restraintp. 31
Remedies for the Cure of Angerp. 32
Discernment of Thoughtsp. 32
Reconciliationp. 33
Virtuep. 34
Prayerp. 35
Asceticismp. 36
Gentlenessp. 37
Conclusionp. 39
Cassian: Anger & Friendshipp. 49
Lifep. 49
Introduction to Anger: the Eight Deadly Sins/Vicesp. 51
Anger: The 4th Deadly Sinp. 52
Anger and Friendship: Conference 16p. 57
Introductionp. 58
True Friendshipp. 59
The Rules for true Friendship(and Commentary)p. 59
Conflict within Friendshipp. 62
Wrong ways to reactp. 63
Right ways for friends to respondp. 64
Conclusionp. 66
Augustine: Anger in Communityp. 73
An Overview of Augustine's Journeyp. 73
Signposts along the wayp. 73
non in contentione et aemulationep. 75
Episcopal altercationsp. 78
Megalius: A lesson in forgivenessp. 78
Fussala: Antony and his victims: compounded ragep. 80
Conclusionp. 80
Anger in the Context of the Rulep. 81
General Introduction: Augustine's Model of Monasticismp. 81
Garden Monasteryp. 81
Clerical monasteryp. 82
Introduction to the Rule and Angerp. 83
What "makes" Communityp. 84
Love and Harmonyp. 84
Honor God Mutually in Each Otherp. 86
Harmony of Voice and Heartp. 86
Service to the Communityp. 87
Role of Superiorsp. 88
Everything in commonp. 89
Manual Laborp. 91
What Breaks Down Communityp. 92
The Fearsome Foursomep. 95
Seeking Affection/Love outside the Communityp. 95
Murmuringp. 96
Angerp. 98
Contumacyp. 102
Repairing the Damagep. 103
Forgivenessp. 103
Patient Endurancep. 105
Correctionp. 106
Conclusionp. 108
Postscriptp. 108
The Sermonsp. 109
Lenten Exhortationsp. 109
Responses to Angerp. 111
Negative reactionsp. 111
denialp. 111
nurturing resentmentp. 111
seeking revengep. 113
Positive responsesp. 113
turning anger on itselfp. 113
taking personal responsibility by admissionp. 114
asking for forgivenessp. 114
forgivingp. 115
refraining from being party to others' enmitiesp. 115
Conclusionp. 116
Concluding Remarksp. 133
Appendicesp. 137
Bibliographyp. 147
Indexp. 153
About the Authorp. 158
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780761851691
ISBN-10: 0761851690
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 178
Published: 18th June 2010
Publisher: University Press of America
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.5  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.29