Some important thoughts here.

Alastair's Adversaria

The issue of ‘orthodox alexithymia’ has resurfaced in a number of contexts online over the last few days. Richard Beck describes what he means by this term:

What I’m describing here might be captured by the tag “orthodox alexithymia.” By “orthodox” I mean the intellectual pursuit of right belief. And by “alexithymia” I mean someone who is, theologically speaking, emotionally and socially deaf and dumb. Even theologically sociopathic.

(Alexithymia—etymologically “without words for emotions”—is a symptom characteristic of individuals who have difficulty understanding their own and others’ emotions. You can think of alexithymia as being the opposite of what is called emotional intelligence.)

I think that Beck is naming something real here. There are ‘sociopathic’ forms of religion, forms of religion that are completely disconnected from any sense of feeling, forms of religion that only engage the head, but never the heart. There is a sort of logical theology that…

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  1. Thanks for the meaning of these terms, as first I thought it may be in the BAR Crowds ‘sleeper agents of Orthodox Christianity masquerading as academics’ category. But thankfully it isn’t. However that emotionally /socially speaking deaf and dumb phrase sort of rings a a bell. Now that one of them, who is not ordained, is ordaining others demands a new phrase explaining the phenomena of ordination. I’m confused 🙂 I need someone with the gift of interpretation … or an agent.


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