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8451A French theologian study of modern psychiatry proposes studying the Orthodox view of madness

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    Jan 17, 2008

      A French theologian�s study of modern psychiatry proposes studying the Orthodox view of madness

      Moscow. January 17. INTERFAX � A Russian-language translation of �Healing Mental Illness: the experience of the first centuries in the Christian East�, the work of the French theologian and doctor of philosophy, Jean-Claude Larche (sp?) was published in Moscow.
      The book is dedicated to understanding madness from the Orthodox point of view, drawing on patristic and hagiographic literature of the I-XIV centuries; it recounts the experience of healing mental illness by holy fathers, who, unlike psychiatrists, examined the person, took into account the totality of the human being (spirit, soul and body).
      The author hopes that the experience of the Orthodox will be useful to modern psychiatry, which, being �established on the model of medical science, a priori excludes any relationship to religion and morality, and, therefore, arrives at a dead end notes the review of the study which was published on Thursday in the newspaper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta � Ex Libris�.
      J.-C. Larche pays special attention to craziness [�fools for Christ�s sake� � yurodstvo], defining it as a voluntary choice of one who attains a certain degree of spiritual perfection; attempting to define the specifics of a fool for Christ�s sake, as compared with other feats of Christian piety; trying to understand and explain the reasons the �holy fools� to behave �foolishly�.

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