Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet is a French Orthodox researcher who is one of the foremost Orthodox Patristics scholars writing today.
Born in northeastern France in 1949 of a Roman Catholic family, Larchet earned doctorates in philosophy (1987) and theology (1994) from the University of Strasbourg. It was during his studies in philosophy that his reading of the Greek Fathers and their Orthodox commentators (especially Vladimir Lossky) led him to the Orthodox Church, where he was received in 1971 by the man who would be his spiritual father, the elder Serge Chévitch (1904-1987), which was also the spiritual father of the theologian Vladimir Lossky, the philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, and the monk iconographer Gregory (Krug).
From 1973 to 1979 he met, to receive their advice, some of the best-known spiritual leaders of that era: Archimandrite (now Saint) Justin Popovich, Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) and, in two long stays at Mount Athos, the followers of Elder Joseph the Hesychast - the Elder Ephrem of Katounakia, the Elder Ephraim (Moraitis) of Philotheou, the Elder Charalampos (Dionusiates) - especially the Elder Paisios (Eznepidis) with whom he had long talks and whose support remains of great importance to Larchet.
He is one of the very few contemporary authors who is able seamlessly to combine rigorous scholarship with a vibrant sense of the inner life of the Church. His prolific writings on the spirituality of the Fathers of the Church and on orthodox theology (twenty-two books, over one hundred and fifty articles) have been translated into no less than 15 languages.
Series on St Maximus the Confessor
His three volumes on St Maximos the Confessor are widely acknowledged as among the best studies of this great saint and theologian published in any language:
Saint Maxime le Confesseur (2003)
Series on Illness and Healing
Equally remarkable is his three-part series on illness and healing in the Patristic tradition:
- The Theology of Illness (2002), and
- Mental Disorders and Spiritual Healing (2005).
- Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses (2012)
The third volume of Dr. Larchet's trilogy – The Therapy of Spiritual Illness - has been released in Greek translation by Apostoliki Diakonia (the official imprint of the Church of Greece) under the title:
The Greek edition (in two volumes) was officially released at a major function held in Athens on Wednesday, April 7, 2009, attended by over 200 people, including several hierarchs, many clergy, and representatives of the Theology Faculty of the University of Athens. The event was opened by Metropolitan Damaskinos, a member of the Holy Synod, who read a letter of greeting from the Primate of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece. Further remarks were offered by Bishop Agathangelos, general editor of Apostoliki Diakonia; Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, who is well known for his own works written in a similar vein; Hieromonk Damianos of Mt Athos, who is trained both as a doctor and a theologian; Stylianos Papadopoulos, professor emeritus of patrology at the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens; and, finally, the author himself, who expressed his gratitude to the translators and publishers of his work. On the following day Dr. Larchet was interviewed for the Church of Greece's radio station and received by His Beatitude, Archbishop Ieronymos.</ref>
Other books in English
- Life after death according to the Orthodox Tradition (2012)
- Elder Sergei of Vanves: Life and Teachings (2012)
Books in French
- Thérapeutique des maladies spirituelles (1991, 5th edition 2007) ISBN 2204055301
- Théologie de la maladie (1991, 3rd edition 2001) ISBN 2204042900
- Thérapeutique des maladies mentales. L’expérience de l’Orient chrétien des premiers siècles (1992, 3rd edition 2008) ISBN 2204045187
- La Divinisation de l’homme selon saint Maxime le Confesseur (1996) ISBN 2204052493
- Maxime le Confesseur, médiateur entre l’Orient et l’Occident (1998) ISBN 2204059498
- Pour une éthique de la procréation. Éléments d’anthropologie patristique (1998) ISBN 2204058580
- Dieu ne veut pas la souffrance des hommes (1999, 2nd edition 2008) ISBN 2204086029
- Saint Silouane de l’Athos (2001, 2nd edition 2004) ISBN 2204065439
- La Vie après la mort selon la Tradition orthodoxe (2001, 2nd edition 2008) ISBN 220406713X
- Le Chrétien devant la maladie, la souffrance et la mort(2002) ISBN 2204070947
- Saint Maxime le Confesseur (580-662) (2003)ISBN 2204071560
- Le Starets Serge (2004) ISBN 2204076244
- L’Inconscient spirituel (2005) ISBN 2204077879
- Variations sur la charité (2007) ISBN 2204084751
- L’Iconographe et l’artiste (2008) ISBN 220408476X
- Théologie du corps (2009) ISBN 2204090026
- Théologie des énergies divines (2010) ISBN 2204090085
- Une fin paisible, sans douleur, sans honte... (2010) ISBN 2204091278
- Personne et nature (2011) ISBN 2204096237
- L’Église, corps du Christ, I, Nature et structure (2012)ISBN 2204096245
- L’Église, corps du Christ, II, Les relations entre les Églises (2012) ISBN 2204097721
- La Vie et l’œuvre théologique de Grégoire II de Chypre (1241-1290), patriarche de Constantinople (editor) (2012) ISBN 2204097152
- Le Patriarche Paul de Serbie. Un saint de notre temps (2014) ISBN 282514423X
- La Vie sacramentelle (2014) ISBN 2204102822
- On the Love of Enemies: The Teaching of St. Silouan. In Communion. (Posted Sunday, October 24th, 2004)
- But I say to you: Love your Ennemies.
- The Question of the Roman Primacy in the Thought of Saint Maximus the Confessor. In: Cardinal Walter Kasper. The Petrine Ministry: Catholics and Orthodox in Dialogue: Academic Symposium Held at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Newman Press, 2006. pp.188-209.
- Apostoliki Diakonia. New Publications: The Healing of Spiritual Disorders: An Introduction in the Ascetic Tradition of the Orthodox Church, Vol. A'. By Jean Claude Larchet. Transl. into Greek by Christos Koulas. 2009.
- Jean-Claude Larchet. ORA ET LABORA. Friday, May 8, 2009.