Passion, Body and Soul at John The Solitary and Isaac of Nineveh

  • Benedict (Valentin) Vesa Babes-Bolyai University, Romania


The paper explores the relations between body, soul, and passion from the perspective of two Syriac writers, John the Solitary and Isaac of Nineveh. According to them, the body and the soul are not in opposition since through them man contemplates the beauty of the outer and inner world. For this reason, we have three elements as parts of the human nature: the body, the soul, and the spirit (the innermost part of the soul) and a threefold spiritual life: according to the body, to the soul and to the spirit. As regarding the body-soul-passion connection, both authors believe that passion can be good, bad, or neutral and belongs to both body and soul.Ultimately, bad passions, as temptations, can be necessary for man's spiritual progress because God has put everything in the structure of man for its benefits. So, salvation refers to the totality of human, body and soul, and passions can be transformed into `wings` to ease our spiritual ascent.

Keywords: passion, body, soul, ascetic life, inner man, external man, anthropology, Syriac tradition


Author Biography

Benedict (Valentin) Vesa, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

Very Rev., Lecturer, Faculty of Orthodox Theology

How to Cite
VESA, Benedict (Valentin). Passion, Body and Soul at John The Solitary and Isaac of Nineveh. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Theologia Orthodoxa, [S.l.], v. 65, n. 1, p. 39-48, june 2020. ISSN 2065-9474. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 06 may 2021. doi:
Systematic Theology