[This book] offers us fresh insight into the mystery of evil, sin, and illness, and their place within our struggle toward holiness... It gives us renewed hope, by locating the "problem of pain" in a profoundly theological framework, in which ultimate resolution of the mystery of illness and suffering is provided by the healing touch of Christ Himself, the Physician of our souls and bodies.
-- John Breck, from the Foreword
Jean-Claude Larchet's The Theology of Illness, already translated into several languages, now appears in English and explores biblical and patristic perspectives on sickness and redemptive suffering. The questions Larchet considers are fundamental: the origins of sin in a fallen world, its impact on physical health, and the healing of human nature by the incarnate Son of God. He explains healing as a means of glorifying God, stressing again the crucial role of prayer and sacramental grace in promoting genuine health. When illness plunges us into unfamiliar territory, even to the point of death, Larchet teaches us to marshal spiritual reserves in a society dominated by technology and materialism. In a time when the physician has been dubbed the high priest of the god of Modern Medicine, Larchet encourages us to situate these crucial experiences within the framework of their relationship to the unique reality of the Holy Trinity.
Jean-Claude Larchet is an Orthodox layman and a professor of philosophy in a French lycee in Strasbourg.