Associate Professor of Systematic Theology Dr. Peter Bouteneff  recently participated in the fourth international conference of the International Association of Orthodox Dogmatic Theologians (IAODT) in Sofia, Bulgaria. The thirty–member Association was formed in 2009 in Arad, Romania, and has met every two years since then: in Arad, Thessaloniki, and Sofia. Its membership is composed of Orthodox dogmatic theology professors from the churches of Greece, Romania, Russia, Serbia, America, Bulgaria, Antioch, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The 2013 meeting featured more than thirty academic papers on the theme "Dogmatic Theology and Terminology in Orthodox Tradition and Today."
The University of Sofia, which is named for St. Clement of Ohrid, hosted the conference. Official greetings were received from His Holiness Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria, as well as from the university administration. At the close of the conference, participants visited the Monastery of St. John of Rila, located in the mountains south of Sofia. Founded in the tenth century, it is "a place of breathtaking beauty, and a testimony to hard–earned monastic continuity over more than a thousand years," Prof. Bouteneff noted.
"The IAODT presents a unique opportunity for Orthodox faculty from around the world to encounter and listen to each other," Prof. Bouteneff explained. "The conference themes always have to do with interpreting the past in the contemporary world. Seeing how Orthodox Christians in Eastern Europe and the Middle East confront this challenge, and how they experience the task of theology today, is truly illuminating." The St. Vladimir's professor has served as one of the Association's two vice–presidents since 2009, together with Dr. Michel Stavrou, professor of Dogmatic Theology at St. Sergius Theological Institute in Paris. The president is The Rev. Dr. Ioan Tulcan, chair of The Orthodox Theological Seminary's faculty in Arad, Romania.