Orthodox Anthropology


Course Objective

By the end of the module, the student will be able to:
• explain basic anthropological notions within the Orthodox tradition:
body, heart, intellect (nous) and tripartite soul
• compare the Christo-centric view of man with a modern secular view of
man and explain differences in terminology such as passion (pathos) vs.
• analyse the spiritual discipline of the Orthodox Church as a
therapeutic measure aimed at bringing the creation of God to completion

Course Content

This course will explore the anthropology of the Orthodox Church—that
is, the theological understanding of human beings in all their
dimensions—through the reading of classic spiritual texts from the
ascetic tradition and relate this to issues in contemporary Western

Teaching Methods

This module will be taught in a blended format of on-line instruction
and interaction together with a residential intensive week.

Method of Assessment

On-line assignments (45%), presentations (20%), final paper (35%).

Entry Requirements

Basic Knowledge of the Bible, courses Hstory of Orthodox Christianity
and Scripture in Orthodox Christianity


• John A. McGuckin (transl.), The Book of Mystical Chapters: Meditations
on the Soul's Ascent, from the Desert Fathers and Other Early Christian
Contemplatives (Boston & London: Shambala: 2003)
• Maximus the Confessor, Centuries on Love in G. E. H. Palmer, P.
Sherrard, and K. Ware (trans. and eds.) The Philokalia: The Complete
Text, vol. 2 (London: Faber and Faber, 1981)
• Alexis Trader, Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive
Therapy: A Meeting of Minds (New York: Peter Lang, 2011)
• Kallistos Ware, ‘The Soul in Greek Christianity’, in M. James C.
Crabbe (ed.), From Soul to Self (London & New York: Routledge, 1999),
pp. 49–69 (scan) and scans of other articles

Additional Information

This course is an integral part of the minor/pre-master Orthodox

Custom Course Registration

This course is an integral part of the minor/pre-master Orthodox Christianity. Before enrolling in the minor/pre-master programme you need to register through www.acot.nl.

Recommended background knowledge

At ease with writing and speaking in English

General Information

Course Code G_OCOPC
Credits 6 EC
Period P3+4+5+6
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator dr. H.P.S. Bakker BA
Examiner prof. dr. J. Behr
Teaching Staff dr. H.P.S. Bakker BA
prof. dr. J. Behr

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: