Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet (Δρ. Ζαν Κλωντ Λαρσέ)


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 a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Nancy (1987) and a Ph.D in theology from the University of Strasbourg (1994). 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 hieromonk who would be his spiritual father, the elder Serge Chévitch (1904-1987), who 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, seeking spiritual guidance and advise, 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 (now in Arizona), the Elder Charalampos (Dionysiates) - especially the Elder (now Saint) Paisios (Eznepidis) with whom he had long talks and whose support remains of great importance to Larchet.

Dr. Larchet, now retired, has been teaching philosophy for 35 years, and as a patrologist and theologian has lectured in many countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, France, Great Britain, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland.

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 (30 books, 150 articles, more than 700 reviews) have been translated into no less than 18 languages.