Man the target of God
In the theology of St. Silouan the Athonite (1866 1938) and Elder Sophrony of Essex (1896 1993), man is the target of divine visitations that serve to make him aware of the image of Christ within him. God created man in His image and likeness . Although this image has become distorted, the purpose of man s life in the Church is that it should be perfectly restored. Elder Sophrony referred to the image of God in man as man s hypostasis or personhood . He taught that this image cannot be realized without the witness of a saint or elder, who demonstrates likeness unto Christ and bears His word. For this reason, he often explained the principle of personhood by referring to the life and writings of St. Silouan. In Man the Target of God, Archimandrite Zacharias, disciple of Elder Sophrony, likewise presents the principle of personhood through the lives of his elders, St. Silouan and Elder Sophrony. He also examines attributes of personhood in terms of dogma and spiritual practice. Throughout Man the Target of God, Fr. Zacharias elaborates on aspects of the theme of personhood which were previously introduced in his doctoral dissertation, Christ, Our Way and Our Life: A Presentation of the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony. Man the Target of God is based on a series of lectures delivered in Greece and the United States of America.