TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
< Back Links

The person in Father Sophronios vision in comparison to contemporary theological currents

The concept of person holds a central place in contemporary philosophy, especially after flourishing of existentialist philosophy in Europe in the 20th century. Concept of person was raised to the rank of crucial notion in the definition of man. If St. Augustine contributed to personalism with the notion of self-consciousness, Boethius contributed, to another dimension, to the concept of person: identification  of the  person with the individual. The influence of Augustine and Boethius on our culture, which raised "individual rights" to the highest ethical value, is evident. The persistence of Father Sophronios on the concept of person is probably due to his reaction against oriental religions which had formed the "old man" which he disapproved. Father Sophronius sees an absolute relationship between the human person and the Trinity God. How occurs the identification of human and divine? Father Sophronios answer lies in Christology, and in a certain part of it: the chenosis. On this side of Christology, Father Sophronius builds all his ascetic theology that is none other than his teaching about the person. To achieve human person, one must empty himself as Christ did.

Keywords: Archimandrite Sophronios Sakharov, person, individual, chenosis, love