Is Mindfulness Compatible with Christianity?
Mindfulness is one of today’s buzzwords. Not without reason, we have to say. Research in psychology and psychotherapy has shown mindfulness to be related to numerous positive outcomes. However, mindfulness has received a mixed reception within Christianity due to fears that it might be inconsistent with Christian beliefs. This situation is potentially preventing many Christians to benefit from mindfulness-based interventions. In this contribution, research results will be presented of a hermeneutic analysis of a sample of New Testament texts regarding the relationship and compatibility between the psychological construct of mindfulness and Christian faith. Based on a careful analysis, it can be asserted that there is a robust congruence instead of dissonances between the two.
Key New Testament ideas were found to be robustly congruent with the three core elements of the mindfulness construct: focus on the present moment, awareness of experience, and acceptance/non-judgment of experience. While contemporary scientific psychological conceptualization of mindfulness is generally consistent with Christian theology, certain other conceptualizations and some mindfulness practices may not be, which reflects the need for a sound Christian contextualization of mindfulness. This investigation has shown that mindfulness is at home in Christianity, and findings of the research strongly resonate with the words that Jesus addressed to each and every human being: “Watch!” (Mark 13:37 NIV).
Benefits of Christian Mindfulness
About the Speaker
Professor Dr Mihael Černetič is an EuroPsy Psychologist and a Certified Integrative Psychotherapist (IIPA). He has a private practice in psychotherapy and counselling and conducts mindfulness workshops. He teaches courses on scientific research methods to psychology and psychotherapy students at the Sigmund Freud University in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His research is focused on mindfulness in psychology, psychotherapy, and Christian spirituality/religion.