Online lecture by Rev. Dr. Brandon Gallaher
8th e-Lecture of the "Time for Action" series
of Volos Academy for Theological Studies
The eighth, concluding online lecture of the "Time for Action" series of Volos Academy for Theological Studies was successfully held on Monday, June 14, 2021. The speaker was Rev. Dr. Brandon Gallaher, Senior Lecturer of Systematic and Comparative Theology at the University of Exeter (Devon, UK) and the topic presented was “Sergius Bulgakov and Georges Florovsky: Two Complementary Voices for Contemporary Orthodox Theology.” The lecture, which was delivered in English with simultaneous translation into Greek, was delivered through the Zoom platform and was attended by many listeners from all over Greece and many other countries. The event was coordinated by Mrs. Katerina Pekridou, Executive Secretary for the theological dialogue of the Conference of European Churches. The lecture is available an the Volos Academy YouTube channel .
The speaker addressed the relationship between Fr. Sergius Bulgakov (1871-1944) and Fr. Georges Florovsky (1893-1979), the “twin colossi in modern Orthodox theology”. As Rev. Dr. Gallaher put it, “each of these men, in their own way, has set out for the Church and academic theology the key themes, seminal thinkers and the future challenge for the 21st century. […] Bulgakov and Florovsky are, above all, each equally necessary to help Orthodoxy and Orthodox academic theology with the major challenge of the 21st century: to respond positively to the West and the world broadly outside the parameters of traditionally Orthodox civilizations and memory and help Orthodoxy to develop a future vision of modernity and secularism that is tailored to the tradition and history of the Orthodox Christian East (i.e. an alternate modernity and Orthodox secularity) as an alternative to those visions on offer in Western Europe and North America both avoiding turning the West into an object of a false corruption and steering clear of elevating the Orthodox East into a pure subject beyond history. We are called to creatively interweave not only the common themes of both theologians but to see that their two distinct visions, marked by their very different standpoints are both, according to the context, equally necessary and can be drawn on according to need in the future of Orthodox theology after the Holy and Great Council of Crete.”
Rev. Dr. Brandon Gallaher (D.Phil., Theology, University of Oxford) is Senior Lecturer of Systematic and Comparative Theology at the University of Exeter (Devon, UK) and was formerly a postdoctoral and research fellow at the University of Oxford, the University of Notre Dame (IN, USA) and Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan). His publications include “Freedom and Necessity in Modern Trinitarian Theology” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), “The Patristic Witness of Georges Florovsky: Essential Theological Writings” (co-edited with Prof. Paul Ladouceur, London: T&T Clark-Bloomsbury, 2019), and “The Living Christ: The Theological Legacy of Georges Florovsky” (co-edited with Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, London: T&T Clark-Bloomsbury, forthcoming September 2021). He is currently working on a book project on Fr. Sergius Bulgakov's ecclesiology, eschatology and ecumenism. He is a deacon of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and served in June 2016 in Crete at the Orthodox Holy and Great Council as a Theological Subject Expert in the Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office.