16 November 2010 • Moscow, Russia
Drawing upon his extensive knowledge of the writings of the church fathers and modern theologians, our seminary Dean, Archpriest John Behr, presented a paper titled "Personhood and Freedom: The Grounding of Both in Ascesis," at an international conference hosted by the Russian Orthodox Church. Fr. John was the first presenter on the second day of the "VI International Scientific Theological Conference," which has as its theme this year "Life in Christ: Christian Morality, Church Ascetic Tradition, and Challenges of the Modern Age."
Fr. John's paper focused on the "language of person" central to much modern theology, tracing the genealogy of the correlation between "person" and the transcendence over nature in a grounding act of freedom to Immanuel Kant and suggesting that its proper analogue is the life in Christ entered into through baptism, dying to the old Adam and being reborn in the new, as a human being in the stature of Christ.
This is the second time this year that Fr. John has visited Russia. In January 2010, His Holiness Kyril, patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, met with Fr. John and Fr. Chad, chancellor of SVOTS, and blessed St. Vladimir's to pursue collaboration with the theological schools in Russia. During his visit this time, Fr. John continued establishing connections with the various schools and universities in Moscow, laying down foundations for future collaboration.
See full story on the Website of the Moscow Patriarchate  (Russian language) at www.st-catherine.ru  (English language). Photos: Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr, representation of the Orthodox Church in America to the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.