Is there Biochemistry of Freedom?

  1. Lemma
  2. Postoji li biohemija slobode?
  3. Serbian
  4. Biohemija slobode (en)
  5. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  6. Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Orthodox gnosiology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Status of theology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies
  7. 20-01-2019
  8. Vasiljevic, Maxim [Author]. Postoji li biohemija slobode?. 95–134
  9. Bogoslovlje
    1. Maximus the Confessor
    2. Kapsokalibite, Porphyrios
  10. free will - genetics - eschaton - neurobiology
  11. 20/01/2019
    1. The author shows how recent developments in the field of natural sciences shed light on theological-medical approach to the human being. In that light, the author implies how for instance neuro-molecular biology may say a lot about “spiritual” processes. In other words, truthfulness of theological implications about human freedom may be found on the premises of modern medicine. The author therefore perceives the sense of conditioning of chemical biological individuality in the ascetic experience of the Church, mostly St. Maximus the Confessor and elder Porphyrius Kapsokalibite.

      The author poses important questions of the determination of human kind, questioning whether human freedom is determined by genetic code and whether it is a result of biochemical processes, as stated by neurobiology. The author further shows that freedom, as transcendent impetus may never be submitted to objective testing. Contrary to natural sciences, in theology the object of research may not be controlled and thus repeated experiments would not yield same results. Salvation and truth-recognition in theology is an act that initiates God himself as subject and this act is a result of freedom and love. On the other hand, spirituality gives birth to ethos as habit of conduct and also influences biological life. As a true state of existence, the eschaton enlightens the question of man’s biochemical substratum in a decisive way, seeing it as a “law of nature” that cannot be changed (human body as biochemical mechanism), but epigenetically changes “tropos of existence”. According to the author, the multidisciplinary approach in biochemistry of freedom has pedagogical, missiological, pastoral, bioethical and other implications. Therefore, the author refuses to exclude the transcendent cause. The author finally concludes that there is no hopeless determinism which reduces freedom to instinctive level. Orthodox theology should develop ethos of freedom in such a way to establish a bioethical culture which would be ruled by conscience that there is no real freedom without transcendence nor complete healing outside of Christ. In that light, this paper is a very thorough and enlightening contribution to the comprehension of human freedom, both in the light of theology and natural sciences.