The Orthodox Church in the World contains theological talks given by the author in Cyprus, Russia, Romania and Georgia at a variety of conferences. Subjects include: Personalism and Person, Theology as Science and as Charisma, The Hesychastic Life according to St Basil the Great, Bringing Up Children Today, Dogma and Ethics and Orthodox Psychotherapy. There are interviews on Therapy and Truth and The Theology of St Gregory Palamas and the Scholasticism of Barlaam, and the final chapter is devoted to St Paissy Velichkovsky – A Great Hesychast Father who “unites the Holy Mountain with the Balkans and Russia.” An unusual feature of this book is the record of the wide-ranging discussions that took place between the author the audience after each talk. Answers are given on issues of the spiritual life, which will help the clergy, monks and laypeople, parents and young people. True theology can transform society. The author points out to his audience the great importance and value of the Church’s hesychastic tradition, which gives meaning to life. He stresses that Orthodoxy possesses a spiritual therapeutic method for curing human beings so that, once cured, they can meet God as light and Paradise, and not as fire. Curing the human soul is not an individual act, but a method followed within the Church through the Sacraments and asceticism, by which man acquires unity with God. Discerning the depths of his listeners’ hearts and their concerns, the author answers them from his heart, revealing aspects of his own personal life. At the end of the book, prompted by the publication of the book St Paissy Velichkovsky by Professor Antonios-Emilios Tachiaos of the Theological School of the University of Thessaloniki, the author identifies basic points from this impressive and surprising biography of St Paissy, who loved hesychia and the neptic tradition of the Church from his youth. Encounters with Christians in other countries will help us to understand that, as Orthodox Christians, we have the same faith and belong to one spiritual family that transcends nationalism.
Μητροπολίτης Ναυπάκτου Ιερόθεος