The Transformation of Happiness

Steven J. Sandage

in The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795734
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979691 | DOI:
The Transformation of Happiness

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This chapter argues for a transformed understanding of happiness which is at root dialectical, able to face seasons of suffering and unhappiness along with the seasons of pure joy. While the latter may be hedonic, the former is certainly anhedonic. But even the anhedonic need not be anti-eudaimonic. In fact, growth often comes from “dark nights” of trauma, grief, and dysphoria. Moreover, even the most difficult of times often prove extremely useful in developing various virtues. The chapter considers psychological research on happiness, virtue, subjective well being, and spiritual maturity in light of the biblical materials on happiness. In the end he calls for constructive triangulation of disciplinary resources of interpretation in the hermeneutical study of happiness and well-being.

Keywords: happiness; positive psychology; counseling psychology; virtue; maturity; subjective well being; trauma; grief

Chapter.  9736 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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