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April 15, 2011

Moscow Patriarchate Encourages Scientists To Study the Church Fathers On Human Psychology

April 15, 2011

The Moscow Patriarchate urged scientists to study discoveries of the Orthodox holy fathers in human psychology.

"Modern science has not absorbed or insufficiently absorbed the wealth of a heritage left by the Early Christian spiritual and intellectual tradition," the head of the Synodal Information Department Vladimir Legoyda writes in an article published by Izvestia newspaper.

According to him, one reason is that "the language of today's science was formed in Europe primarily by Christian believers; however, a large corpus of texts written by the holy fathers has not been translated into this scientific language."

"Christian ascetics made such great discoveries in human nature that Freud couldn't even dream of, if I may say so. Of course, not strictly scientific in form, they contain quite detailed descriptions of many psychological laws of personal development," the article says.

Legoyda states that Western culture went past the works of the Church Fathers and Christian ascetics "who have been studying the secret laws of the human soul for centuries"; so "this situation may be and needs to be changed."

"The ecclesiastical pastoral experience is well aware of such maladies inherent to the modern world and treated by psychiatrists as stress, passions, tension and loneliness. Christianity has gathered unparalleled experience analyzing the human soul which is undoubtedly indispensable to modern science," Legoyda added.