Addiction and the Person: A Psychological and Theological Approach

Addictions nowadays peak, as a fruit of post-modern context. The two conditions that favor this dramatic increase are the society of spectacle and the society of consumerism. Christians make no exceptions; they have been contaminated as well, because addictive factors have been expanded and are not lethal any more like in the past. Now they include gambling, food, TV watching, internet, video games, shopping.

We will examine what specific shifts from modernity to post-modernity have paved the way to proneness to addictions. We also will consider inner freedom as a theological imperative and how it is undermined by addictive behaviors. We will put emphasis on prevention and healing in clergy couples and families, as it is an indispensable mission.

The groups will work on:

a) Pastoral care of addicts. What can be done by the pastor and the congregation to take care of those subject to addictive behaviors? Especially what should spiritual guidance and confession consider in both preventing and healing?

b) Addictive behaviors of priests and clergy wives. Why and in what ways are we vulnerable to addictive behaviors? How is the quality of clergy marriage involved? What preventive factors for candidates and ordained clergy should be promoted as both an individual initiative and a church policy?

c) Pleasure vs joy in contemporary Christians. Addictions are fed by the confusion between pleasure and joy; are Christians aware of the distinction? How much do they fall prey to consumerism and advertisements? What aspects of spiritual life should be cultivated in order to make them immune to the dominance of pleasure?