the Role of Suffering in Human Flourishing: Contributions From Positive Psychology, Theology, and Philosophy

by M Elizabeth Lewis Hall, Richard Langer, Jason McMartin
Journal of Psychology & Theology ()


Should alleviating suffering always be the primary goal in treatment? This paper proposes that suffering can best be understood in the context of the flourishing life, from the intersecting vantage points of positive psychology, philosophy of theology. We further argue that in this context, we can articulate a role for suffering. Suffering can be understood as a marker of disordered living, a means of cultivating characteristics that are essential to the flourishing life, or an opportunity for worldview orientation. In sum, the role of suffering is not to endure it for its own sake, but for the sake of cultivating the flourishing life. Finally, we will consider some implications of this conceptualization for the practice of therapy. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Psychology & Theology is the property of BIOLA University and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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