Recent News

Get Informed

with the participation of the Director and Academic Associates of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies Thessaloniki, 21-25 May, 2018


On May 21-25, 2018 the 8th International Conference of Orthodox Theology was successfully held in Thessaloniki on the general theme “The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church: Orthodox Theology in the 21st Century.” The conference was organized by the Faculty of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Conference started at the evening of May 21st with a concert of Byzantine music by the association “Romanos the Melodist,” which took place at the Saint George Church (Rotunda). During the opening session held at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Philosophy (old building), the Message of the His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Greetings of academic, ecclesiastical and civil authorities were read.

The conference consisted of the morning 20 minutes presentations and speakers included: Archbishop of Albania, Emeritus Prof. Anastasios (“The Rekindling of Mission on new Frontiers and the Holy and Great Council” (in absentia); Metropolitan of Targoviste Prof. Nifon (“The Mission of the Church in the Contemporary World in the Light of the Decisions of the Great and Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church”); Rev. Prof. Porhyrios Georgi, “St. John Damascus,” Faculty of Theology, University of Balamand, Lebanon (“Theology as Love of Beauty: The Witness of the Church Fathers in the 21st Century”); Archbishop Geron of America Emeritus Prof. Demetrios, Ecumenical Patriarchate (“Orthodox Diaspora: Perspectives following the Holy and Great Council of Crete”); Metropolitan of Monte Negro Emeritus Prof. Amphilohije, Patriarchate of Serbia (“The Participation of the Orthodox Serbian Church in the Holy and Great Council of the catholic Orthodox Church”); Sister Dr. Vassa Larin (“The Mystery vs. the History of the Church’s ‘Oneness’”). At the panel discussion on the topic “The Holy and Great Council-View of Other Christian Traditions” with the participation of ecumenical observers, participated: Metropolitan of Sassima Gennadios, Ecumenical Patriachate (“Being Together: Orthodoxy in Unity and Conciliarity in a Pluralistic World”), Rev. Prof. K.M. George (“Conciliarity, Democracy and the Social Media: An Indian Perspective”); Rev. Dr. Frans Bouwen (“Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World. A Roman Catholic Point of View on the Document of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church”); Prof. Jennifer Wasmuth (“Step forward or backward? The document ‘Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World’ in an Ecumenical Perspective”); Dr. Canon Jamie Hawkey (“Sentire cum ecclesia – Anglicanism, Synodality, and discerning the mind of the Church”; Rev. Prof. Mattheus Odair Pedroso, Faith and Order Committee (“Notes on Orthodoxy and Modern Ecumenicity”). Furthermore, with key note presentations also participated: Prof. Paul Meyendorff, St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, NY, U.S.A. (“The Council Documents on Fating and Marriage: A Critical Responses”); Rev. Prof. Viorel Sava (“The Parish as Factor and Model of Unity in a Divided World. A Liturgical-Pastoral Approach of our Times”); Bishop of Christoupolis Prof. Makarios (“Severing Communion with the Bishop according to the 15th Canon of the First-Second Council”); Archbishop of Telmessos Prof. Job, Ecumenical Patriarchate (“The Holy and Great Council as an Experience of Synodality”); Prof. Theodoros Giagou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (“The Holy and Great Council: reality and perspective”); Metropolitan of Messinia, Prof. Chrysostomos, University of Athens, Church of Greece (“The Decisions of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church and the Future of the theological studies – What does the Church expect from Theology?”); Metropolitan of Bursa, Prof. Elpidophoros, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ecumenical Patriarchate (“The next Holy and Great Council. Agenda, Questions”).

During the afternoon parallel sessions a great amount of important papers were delivered by Professors and scholars from all over the world, which caused fruitful reflection and debate (To read the program click here).

The Volos Academy for Theological Studies was represented by: Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Director, Lecturer at the Hellenic Open University) who spoke on the “Pending Issues and Future Challenges. After the Convening of the Great and Holy Council”; Dr. Nikolaos Asproulis (Deputy Director, Lecturer at the Hellenic Open University): “Ockham’s Razor: Theological Hermeneutics and Systematic Theology. Is there a future for Orthodox Theology?”; Dr. Nikos Kouremenos (Academic Associate, Teaching Fellow, University of Athens): “Facilitating the road towards unity: The Christology of Coptic Liturgies as a point of convergence of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches,” and Rev. Dr. Amphilochios Meltos (Academic Associate): “Conciliarity and its realization: Towards a common quest of Orthodox and Roman Catholics”). At the Thessaloniki conference two members of the Board of Directors of the Volos Academy also participated: Rev. Prof. Gregorios Papathomas (University of Athens, St. Serge Institute of Orthodox Theology): (“From the realized Holy and Great Council of Crete (2016) to an (anticipated) similar Council of the Orthodox Church (ecclesio-canonical and anthropological challenges)”; Assist. Prof. Christos Karakolis, (University of Athens): “The Practice of fasting in the contemporary world in light of the Pauline witness.”

The conference ended with an all day excursion to the Macedonian Royal Tombs of Vergina and the Monastery of Saint Dionysius of Olympus.

The languages of the conference were Greek and English.

To read the abstract of Dr. P. Kalaitzidis’ presentation click here.

To read the abstract of Dr. N. Asproulis’ presentation click here.

To read the abstract (in Greek) of Dr. N. Kouremenos presentation click here

To read the abstract (in Greek) of Rev. Dr. Ampilochios Meltos’ presentation click here