Short Courses

Logotherapy: The Search for Meaning

Course Finished: 

Fr Petros Parginos MPhil (St Augustine College) / MTh (University of Balamand) / BA(Hons) (UJ) / BA (Wits)

incl. course materials and refreshments

In September of 1942, a young doctor, his new bride, his mother, father and brother, were arrested in Vienna and taken to a concentration camp in Bohemia. It was events that occurred there and at three other camps that led the young doctor – prisoner 119,104 – to realize the significance of meaningfulness in life. And throughout his ordeal, he could not help but see that, among those given a chance for survival, it was those who held on to a vision of the future — whether it be a significant task before them, or a return to their loved ones — that were most likely to survive their suffering. It would be, in fact, the meaningfulness that could be found in suffering itself that would most impress him: Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. That young doctor was Viktor Emil Frankl and he founded a school of psychology called Logotherapy, which is based on the premise that the human person is motivated by a “will to meaning,” an inner pull to find a meaning in life. This course will familiarise participants with the history of Viktor Frankl and his school of thought. Parallels will be shown between Logotherapy and Christianity with regard to the role of meaning and meaningfulness in our existence.

Components of the course will include:

  • Background on Viktor Frankl
  • Frankl’s view of the human person and the human condition
  • What is meant by ‘Meaning’?
  • The ‘Tragic Triad’ and Suffering as a process
  • When Meaning is lost
  • Embracing the Meaning of Life

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