This ultimately joyful work is one of the few books available in English to deal exclusively to deal with the problem of despondency, and how it can be overcome. Fr. Gabriel Bunge analyzes the views of Evagrius Ponticus, the famous "philosopher in the desert," on the dangers of acedia or "despondency." Acedia belongs to the list of eight "evil thoughts" which includes not only vices of the body, but also vices of the soul-such as sadness and anger. These vices are opposed to the "eight virtues" including moderation, poverty, joy, and patience.
Evagrius develops a sophisticated psychology which remains beneficial to us today. Indeed, this forth-century Desert-father writes for Christians everywhere: for those in modern deserts-that is, the city-and for those subject to silent despair.
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