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Agios VasiliosOn account of its spiritual nature — and because, as we shall see, the “image of God” in man belongs primarily to the soul — we must never think that the Fathers, as the pagan Greek philosophers, taught a body-soul dualism.

Man is not a soul with a body — albeit, as St. Basil the Great declared, the body is “the instrument of the soul” — but body and soul form one person. Neither does the Church believe that the soul lived prior to its body — as the Greeks and Origen of Alexandria [erroneously] taught — but each body is made for each soul, a soul is made by God for the body He creates. Furthermore, the soul does not indwell a body as a punishment for some sin committed in another life. Also, the Church rejects the notion of “the transmigration of the souls,” that is, “reincarnation” or “metempsychosis.”

Protopresbyter Michael Azkoul