The health of our soul is more important than the health of our body, yet in our modern age of materialism, we have made the medical doctor the new high priest of a civilization seeking purely physical solutions to problems previously presumed to involve the soul. Hank is joined by French professor Jean-Claude Larchet, a prolific scholar holding doctoral degrees in both theology and philosophy, and one of the foremost Patristic scholars in the world today to discuss sickness, suffering, and the soul from a theological perspective. His profound book The Theology of Illness examines the role that suffering and illness play in our lives and how they can actually aid our spiritual development. From provocative statements such as “there is no question that people today have far fewer resources than their ancestors did to deal with illness” to “good health is evil if it contributes to making a person indifferent to his salvation and keeps him away from God by giving him the false impression that he is self-sufficient,” professor Larchet will challenge the way you think about suffering, illness, and what true health really is.
Topics discussed include: Do people today have fewer resources than their ancestors did to deal with the problem of illness? (4:00); spiritual illness is more serious than physical illness, yet our modern age has made the medical doctor the new high priest of civilization (5:20); how detached we have become from the wisdom of the early church fathers (7:10); the connection between the communion of all saints and asking for prayers from those who have passed before us (10:45); the difference in the human body before and after the Fall and the implications for our resurrected state in the world to come (12:20); was man created perfect? (16:05); deification (theosis) and what it means to become God’s by grace (17:05); is there a link between illness and sin? (28:05); why perfect health does not exist in this world (28:05); discussing zoetic energy (33:00); Hank asks a personal question regarding his battle with cancer (37:10); good health is evil if it contributes to making a person indifferent to his salvation and keeps him away from God by giving him the false impression that he is self-sufficient (42:30); the role suffering plays in raising our awareness, and why illness can be better than health if it aids our spiritual progress (47:45); the essential role of prayer in growing closer to God (51:25); the significance of asking Mary, or saints in general, to intercede for us in prayer and why it is biblical (59:25); the relationship between demon possession and illness (1:01:05); contrary to modern beliefs, the health of the soul is more important than the health of the body (1:04:15); and is there a connection between an improper theology of illness and the rise of suicide (1:42:45)?
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