Sandra M. Levy-Achtemeier, Ph.D.

Flourishing Life Review: Christian Century

Christian Century, June 27, 2012


In readable fashion Levy-Achtemeier explores what it means for humans to flourish. Trained as a psychologist and an Episcopal priest, she draws on evolutionary neuroscience, positive psychology and theology. Relying especially on Teilhard de Chardin, she argues that we are to be cocreators with God of our own lives. She draws on interviews she conducted with recent retirees to see how they assessed their lives and how they perceive their future. A life well lived is one in which we make the most of our inborn traits, what is given to us by the people and culture around us and the practices in which we engage. Even tragedy and calamity, depending on how we respond to them, can lead toward our transformation as human beings. As a Christian, Levy-Achtemeier believes in the resurrection; so, she says, our final flourishing happens in the life to come.