ILLNESS AND CURE OF THE SOUL IN THE ORTHODOX TRADITION BY METROPOLITAN HIEROTHEOS VLACHOS OF NAFPAKTOS TRANSLATED BY EFFIE MAVROMICHALI
Metropolitan Hierotheos uses quotations from the Church Fathers and many saints to support his conviction that man's soul suffers illness which distorts his relationship with God, his fellow men and nature — to be cured in the hospital of the Church. Presented in the form of a discussion, the contents was used in a lecture series at the St. John of Damascus Faculty of Theology, University of Balamand.
The author's main conviction which permeates this present book is that Orthodoxy does not provide a "system" of moral conduct but a therapeutic treatment which cures the innermost aspect of man's personality. Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos maintains that he does not innovate by stating this, but that, he just highlights a central teaching of the Fathers of the Church: man's soul suffers malady which distorts his relationship with God; his fellow-men and even nature. The Church 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 asceticism, as it is expressed in the neptic tradition of the Church.