Virtues that transcend
positive psychology in Jewish texts and tradition
Positive psychology, which has flourished in recent years, focuses on human strengths, wellness, and fulfillment. We posit that the virtues and character strengths studied by positive psychologists are also emphasized in the classic texts of Judaism. The current chapter focuses on the virtue of transcendence, demonstrating that each of the character strengths related to this virtue, including appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, and spirituality/religiousness, are deeply valued in traditional Jewish thought and practice. Contemporary theoretical and empirical investigations of Jews and Judaism relevant to both transcendence and mental health and wellness are then reviewed, including research indicating that traditional Jewish concepts of transcendence may produce interventions that promote mental health and well-being.
Schnall, E. , Schiffman, M. , Cherniak, A. (2014)., Virtues that transcend: positive psychology in Jewish texts and tradition, in C. Kim-Prieto (ed.), Religion and spirituality across cultures, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 21-45.
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