Offering a psychological perspective on the early Christian monastic movement, this insightful guide draws upon the wisdom of ancient desert monks, examining ways in which contemporary readers can grow in personal freedom & spirituality & transform their life today. Filled with fascinating stories & practical advice.
Robert J. Wicks received his doctorate in psychology from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital and is on the faculty of Loyola University, Maryland. He has published more than 50 books for professionals and the general public, including Bounce: Living the Resilient Life; Riding the Dragon; and Perspective: The Calm Within the Storm. Dr. Wicks has lectured on the importance of resilience and possessing a healthy perspective in Hanoi, Beijing, Budapest, Belfast, and Johannesburg as well as at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard's Children's Hospital, and Harvard Divinity School, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and on Capitol Hill to members of Congress and their chiefs of staff. He has received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American Counseling Association's Division on Spirituality, Ethics, and Values and in 2006 was recipient of the first annual Alumni Award for Excellence in Professional Psychology from Widener University.
Wicks (Riding the Dragon) uses his experience as a veteran psychologist to introduce fourth-century desert wisdom to readers of all faiths. According to Wicks, the ancient desert fathers and mothers can "provide proven guidance on how to let go and live with a refreshing sense of freedom in the world." His book makes for a compelling read when he blends his understanding of the worlds wisdom traditions drawing from a variety of thinkers such as Henri Nouwen, Zen Master Joseph Goldstein and Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche with his knowledge of human behavior. One of his great strengths is grounding abstract theological concepts in engaging stories, like when he introduces the virtue of gratitude with a tale of the "barefoot brother" he met in India, who had lived through many tragedies yet was so appreciative of Wicks presentation to the Jesuits. At points, the text tackles too much in too little space. For example, the first of the four desert questions 'What am I filled with now?' includes five rather complicated ancillary questions for reflection. Still, the book is an excellent guide to the wisdom and insight of the early pilgrims who fled to the desert to better hear and live out the word of God.
- Publishers Weekly