Liberal Arts in Russia EN-rus logo
russian flagRussian
ISSN 2305-8420 (Print)
ISSN 2312-6442 (Online)
Current Issue

Human nature and personality in Orthodox anthropology

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2018. Vol. 7. No. 2. Pp. 97-109.
Get the full text (Russian)
Alekhina E. V.
Moscow State Regional University
10A Radio Street, 105005 Moscow, Russia
Koposov L. T.
Moscow State Regional University
10A Radio Street, 105005 Moscow, Russia


The authors of the article explore the basics of Orthodox consciousness, in the center of which the freedom of the individual as a carrier of spiritual energy. Due to this freedom, a human is able to rise above instincts or to lose self-control and acquire dependency. The science does not allow the researchers to consider the most important questions: why and for what purpose human is constituted this way. Dealing with these questions, the science ignores the spiritual bases of the reality and move to its periphery. No wonder that psychologists-clinicians recognize the crisis of the methodological bases of their science. The growth of mental illness, multiple forms of dependencies and, inability to cope with the problems by means of medical sciences demonstrate a need to return to the truth of Christian understanding of human. Analyzing the problem on the basis of theological works and the works of Russian religious philosophers and clinical psychologists, the authors assert the main idea: human as a free person cannot be reduced to activities aimed at meeting desires and needs, can not be reduced to nature; human is an open system that can drastically change itself. It is the spirit that forms personality and identity. Human is literally metaphysical creature. Personal growth involves overcoming of the painful distortion of human nature, recognizing oneself as a slave to sin, and entering the life of the Church. Orthodox-Christian self-consciousness is not just progress in erudition or enrichment of inner experience, but a real spiritual birth, which is the meaning of life. Meeting with the Creator is experienced as joy, fullness of life. That is why joy is the basis of the Orthodox consciousness.


  • • Orthodox anthropology
  • • spiritual and moral values
  • • freedom
  • • sin
  • • dependency
  • • self-consciousness
  • • Church
  • • life meaning
  • • Russian religious philosophy


  1. Aurelius A. Tvoreniya v 4 t.: Vol. 4. O Grade Bozhiem. Kn. XXII, 29 [Creations in 4 volumes: Vol. 4. The City of God. Book 22, 29]. Saint Petersburg: Aleteiya, 1998.
  2. Antonii B. Trudy. Kniga pervaya. 2 ed. Moscow: Praktika, 2012.
  3. Bulgakov S. N. Svet nevechernii: Sozertsaniya i umozreniya [Non-evening light: Contemplations and speculations]. Moscow: AST, 2001.
  4. Velikie russkie startsy: Zhitiya, chudesa, dukhovnye nastavleniya [Great Russian Startsy: Lives, Miracles, Spiritual Instructions]. Moscow: Trifonov Pechengskii monastyr', 2001.
  5. Vysheslavtsev B. P. Etika preobrazhennogo erosa. Moscow: Respublika, 1994. Pp. 154-322.
  6. Gubin V. D. Filosofiya: Elementarnyi kurs: ucheb. posobie dlya vuzov [Philosophy: Elementary course: Textbook for high schools]. Moscow: Gardariki, 2001.
  7. Dostoevskii F. M. PSS. V 30 t. Leningrad: Nauka, 1972-1982. Vol. 24. Dnevnik pisatelya.
  8. Il'in I. A. Aksiomy religioznogo opyta. V 2 t. [Axioms of religious experience. In 2volumes]. Moscow: Rarog'', 1993.
  9. Karsavin L. P. O lichnosti. Religiozno-filosofskie sochineniya. Moscow: Renessans. Vol. 1. 1992. Pp. 177.
  10. Kuraev A., Lur'e V. Na poroge unii [On the verge of a union]. Moscow: Nauka, 1999.
  11. Losskii V. N. Ocherk misticheskogo bogosloviya Vostochnoi Tserkvi. Dogmaticheskoe bogoslovie [Essay on the mystical theology of the Eastern Church. Dogmatic theology]. Moscow: SEI, 1991.
  12. Ispovednik M. Tvoreniya. Kn. 2. Voprosootvety k Falassiyu. Chast' 1 [Creations. Book 2. Question-answers to Thalassus. Part 1]. Moscow, 1993.
  13. Sartr Zh.-P. Filosofskie p'esy [Philosophical plays]. Moscow: Kanon, 1996.
  14. Sidorov P. I., Parnyakov A. V. Klinicheskaya psikhologiya: Uchebnik. 2 ed. [Clinical psychology: Textbook. 2nd ed.] Moscow: GEOTAR-MED, 2002.
  15. Florenskii P. A. Ikonostas. Filosofiya russkogo religioznogo iskusstva XVI-XX vv. Antologiya. Moscow: Progress, 1993. Pp. 279-280.
  16. Florenskii P. A. Stolp i utverzhdenie istiny. V 2-kh kn. [The pillar and ground of the truth. In 2 volumes]. Moscow: Pravda, 1990. Vol. 1.
  17. Frank S. L. Real'nost' i chelovek [Reality and man]. Saint Petersburg: RKhGI, 1997.
  18. Dukhovnye osnovy psikhicheskoi zavisimosti. URL:
  19. Grekh. URL: