With the participation of the Director, a Member of the Board of Directors and Academic Associates of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies

On January 9-12, 2019, the Inaugural Conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA) took place in Iaşi, Romania, hosted and supported by the local Archdiocese of Iaşi and Doxologia Publishing House. Founded by Dr. Paul Gavrilyuk and a group of leading scholars, IOTA’s primary mission is to promote the international exchange of knowledge within the context of the Orthodox tradition.

The overarching theme of the conference was “Pan-Orthodox Unity and Conciliarity.” The Keynote Address was given by His Eminence Metropolitan of Diokleia Kallistos (Ware), who reflected on the difficulties and the future perspectives of unity and conciliarity in Orthodoxy (available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WexUpqstG9Q&feature=youtu.be). IOTA rose to this challenge by providing a vivid experience of “conciliarity from below.” With almost 300 scholars from over 40 countries and all six continents, the Inaugural Conference was the largest and the most representative gathering of Orthodox church leaders, scholars, and professionals in modern history.

Attendees included University Professors, senior or junior scholars, researchers, and experts in multiple disciplines, including not only theology but also natural science, history, philosophy, political science, medicine, linguistics, and the arts. A broad variety of topics were discussed in over 70 separate sessions, ranging from fundamental philosophical and theological issues to the urgent questions of our time. Classical issues included such topics as Orthodox approaches to scripture, the doctrine of the trinity, and spirituality of Philokalia. Contemporary issues included the controversial church situation in Ukraine, ecological challenges, and the role of women in church life.

The event began with a Te Deum service offered by Metropolitan Teofan of Iaşi. It also included opportunities for communal worship, two sacred art exhibits, a pilgrimage to local monasteries, and a book exhibit to benefit emerging Orthodox scholars. The gathering was also enriched by the participation of presenters and observers from a variety of non-Orthodox faith traditions.

IOTA plans to host worldwide conferences every four years in different locations worldwide.

The Volos Academy for Theological Studies was represented by: a) Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis, Director, Lecturer at the Hellenic Open University (Greece), Research Fellow KU Leuven, Member of the Executive Committee of the European Academy of Religion, who participated in the panel discussion under the topic: “Orthodox Political Theology between Individualism and Communitarianism,” and in the special session entitled “Showcase of Orthodox Christian Organizations,” where he presented a brief overview of the work and the publications of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies; b) Dr. Dimitrios Moschos, Associate Professor of the University of Athens (Greece), and Member of the Board of Directors of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, who joined the Ecclesiology Group on the topic Critical Ecclesiology and spoke about “‘The composition of the congregation’: Checks and Balances in the Early Church and Their Contribution to Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology”; c) Dr. Nikolaos Asproulis, Deputy Director, Lecturer at the Hellenic Open University, who was invited speaker in the joint session organized by the Dogmatic Theology Group & Philosophy of Religion Group on the general topic: “The Doctrine of the Trinity” and spoke about “Personhood and ‘Causal Trinitarianism’: The ‘Logical Problem of the Trinity,’ the Greek-Latin Divide and a Way Out”; d) Dr. Nikos Kouremenos, Research Fellow, Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII (Italy) and Academic Associate of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, who participated in a panel discussion about the Dialogue with Oriental Churches on the topic “The Dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches and presented a paper on “The Dialogue between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Modern Greek Theological and Ecclesiastical Context”; and e) Mrs Katerina Pekridou, MTh, Secretary on Theological Dialogue, CEC and former Academic Associate of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies.

To read the full program click here

For more details about the mission of IOTA please visit the official web-site

Photos of the meeting will continue to be uploaded at https://iota-web.org/photos/

The present press release is mainly based on IOTA’s official one available at https://iota-web.org/