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Alternative title:

Biblical concept of illness etiology and integral healing in orthodox theology

Subject and Keywords:

Orthodox theology   illnesses   health   anointment of the sick   chaplaincy of the sick   intercultural qualifications


Modern scientific medicine, based on the biomedical paradigm, has dominated the today’s approach to the illness and the treatment process. Consequently, thinking about illness in theological categories, and even more in ontological ones, so deeply rooted in the tradition of Eastern Christianity, has become alien for the modern man. Facing the growing migration wave from our Eastern border, it seems essential to understand the mentality of patients coming from those religious and cultural circles and their needs with respect to spiritual care. Thus, the objective of the paper is in the first place presenting the theological basis for the understanding of illness and healing in the Orthodox terms. Views on illness and healing of the most outstanding modern theologians representing this Christianity mainstream will be discussed, above all of J.-C. Larchet and J. Zizioulas. They will show how these scholars interpret the output of the Orthodox tradition in this domain. Two theological models proposed by them will be considered in a special way: Christ-physician and Church-hospital. In the last part this theological interpretation will be translated into specific applications to the practice of Orthodox patients chaplaincy, using the example of the sacrament of the sick anointment – which in the Orthodoxy has a distinctive form as compared to the Roman-Catholic tradition. This presentation reveals to us the richness and distinctness of the Eastern Christianity line of thought, largely forgotten in the West - the line of thought which has been evolving on its own paths, established on other philosophical and theological foundations than the line of though we know: that of the Latin Christianity, which has shaped the way of thinking in our cultural circles. With respect to the biblical concept of illness etiology, Eastern theology is here more cosmological and less individualistic that the Western theology. On the other hand, as far as healing is concerned, the Orthodoxy puts a very strong emphasis on the holistic approach to the therapy process. All this knowledge, translated into practical aspects regarding the spiritual care of the Orthodox patient, should become also an element of the process of intercultural qualifications shaping of medical personnel

Place of publishing:



E-Wydawnictwo. Prawnicza i Ekonomiczna Biblioteka Cyfrowa. Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

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Detailed Type:



ISBN 978-83-66066-83-0 (druk)   ISBN 978-83-66066-84-7 (online)






(Prace Naukowe Wydziału Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego)   (E-Monografie ; nr 153)

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