Pastoral Psychology in Greece:
The Case of Professor Ioannis Kornarakis.
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have decided to write this paper for the late Professor Ioannis Kornarakis mainly for two reasons: (1) Professor Kornarakis was the first to attempt an interdisciplinary preoccupation between the branch of Patristics and Modern Psychology; (2) Because he worked on this interdisciplinary perspective with innovation and creativity. For Professor Kornarakis’s work what is worth to be mentioned, above all, is that it was a struggle and an effort towards an unusual project: that of seeing the writings of the Church Fathers and of Scriptures in ways which could be relevant to modern human problematism so that a fruitful understanding to be attained, as to what we can do with them on a personal, interpersonal and social level. Though Professor Kornarakis did not use the empirical method in his scientific research - observation-hypothesis-experiment-support, or refutation, of ideas tested-replication of the study conducted, etc. - he came across very important insights as to the human condition, that even today can elicit discussions as to the salience of his endeavours for modern pastoral psychologists.In this theoretical paper, what I am doing is to refer to Professor Kornarakis’s work historically and systematically. Historically, in terms of the development of it, since its inception, in the theological literature; systematically, in terms of the presentation of it in relation to the main ideas this was based upon. The historical preoccupation with Kornarakis’s work is being exhausted in the realm of an interview I conducted of him, when I was collecting information relevant to what he wrote, discussed and envisaged as to the association between Patristics and Psychology. The systematic preoccupation with Kornarakis’s work refers to the content and context his works were conceptualized and composed.Through both these perspectives -the historical and the systematic- Kornarakis’s work is actually put in the framework it belongs to, which is that of the theoretical foundations needed for the construction of a mode of thought in the pastoral understanding of the writings of the Fathers, and those of the Bible, in relation to what modern psychology studies in detail. Kornarakis’s work can be exhausted in terms of its chronological framework; however, it can also appear inexhaustible as to the kind of contingencies one can find in it, which are both situation-driven and hermeneutically-specific. Situationdriven, for they refer to events the modern man is bothered by; hermeneutically-specific, for they refer to issues, the exegesis of which can help the modern man’s condition to be improved.