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The Orthodox Nationalist: St Nil Sorsky and Ascetic Psychology – TON 042022

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson shows how the church fathers prefigured today’s psychologists with much of their insights.

April 20th is the feast day of the great monastic philosopher, St. Nil (Nilus) Sorsky. He is one of the legislators of the monastic life as it relates to the hermitage, rather than the well-organized monastic institution.

Since it was the monks that carved western civilization out of the wilderness and maintained the great writings of antiquity, their work and thought is of the most supreme significance. Like St. John of the Ladder and many others, his insight is into the inner workings of the human psyche.

Only very recently is the modern discipline of Psychology (formerly a philosophical field) realizing that the church fathers were masters of the pathologies of our mental state. What Psychology believes it has discovered, turn out to be monastic insights into sin and rationalization from a millennium ago.

St. Nil was a central figure in the Muscovite sense of itself in his age, and continues today to exert a powerful influence in the psychology of asceticism.

Presented by Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: St Nil Sorsky and Ascetic Psychology – TON 042022


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