The Illness and Cure of the Soul in the Orthodox Tradition
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In this book, Hierotheos Vlachos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Greece, develops his conviction that Orthodoxy does not provide a system of moral conduct but, rather, a therapeutic treatment which cures the innermost aspect of man's personality. The author maintains that he does not innovate by stating this, but that he is simply highlighting the central teaching of the Fathers of the Church - the teaching that man's soul suffers from an illness which distorts his relationship with God, with his fellow men and even with nature. The Orthodox Church, for the author, is a hospital which receives all people and cures their spiritual illness. The "cure" of the soul is the "end" of the Orthodox way and it can only be attained through the Orthodox therapeutic method which is modeled on the ascetic tradition of the Church.