THE PERSON IN THE ORTHODOX TRADITION BY METROPOLITAN HIEROTHEOS VLACHOS OF NAFPAKTOS TRANSLATED BY ESTHER WILLIAMS
One of the basic problems which has always troubled man's spirit is the question of what man is. Philosophers, theologians, sociologists, psychologists and educators have engaged themselves in this question, since man is the microcosm within the macrocosm, he is the summation of all creation. It is therefore natural that the study of man is closely connected with metaphysical, social, psychological and ecological issues. Everyone who has dealt with the question of what man is has spoken about "man", "the person", "personality", "hypostasis", "the ontology of man", etc. Each one of them has looked at the subject from a different perspective.
The West speculated on these issues. The identification of theology with metaphysics, as attempted mainly in the West during the middle ages, and the disconnection of metaphysics from Science undertaken in the Renaissance resulted in the rejection of metaphysics and, therefore, of theology, which was identified with it. At the same time this brought about an agonized effort on the part of the intellectuals to locate the central characteristic which typifies natural man. Thus various philosophical systems and theories about man were created as formulated in sensationism, rationalism, voluntarism etc. which resulted in Nietzsche's theory about "Superman", followed by the appearance of Sartre's existentialism and the development of postmodernism, which talks about the complexity of relation. Therefore the question of what man is is also contemporary and interesting today.