Searching for Our Human Face: The Babel of Autonomy

Eclectic Orthodoxy

by Brian C. Moore, Ph.D.


It was well recognized amongst the early church fathers that fragmentation and the Fall went together. “Where there is sin, there is multiplicity”—Origen. “And now, we rend each other like wild beasts”—Maximus the Confessor. “Satan has broken us up”—Cyril of Alexandria. The joyous unity of the Adam becomes the blaming of Eve, the serpent, mistrust between the sexes, the whole sad groaning of creation which is the only reality we have ever known. How does one get around it? Part of the difficulty is that one should not isolate freedom and identity as if one could focus purely on the individual. There’s the story in The Brothers Karamazov about the old woman in hell who once gave a shriveled, sorry excuse for an onion to a beggar. An angel tries to pull her out from infernal chains by the strength of this single act of…

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