This coming year's presenter of the 28th annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture is His Eminence Hilarion,  chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Affairs. His Eminence has chosen "The Meaning of 'Icon' in the Orthodox Church" as his topic, and he will deliver the free and public lecture on Saturday afternoon at 3:30, February 5, 2011, in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Foundation Building on our campus. A public reception will follow and the All-Night Vigil will be celebrated at the usual time of 6:30 p.m., with Metropolitan Hilarion presiding.
Metropolitan Hilarion, an episcopal member of the seminary's Board of Trustees, is gifted as both a theological writer and a composer of sacred music. He will be offering our seminary and the public at-large his plentiful talents during his visit in late winter to the United States. Besides delivering the Schmemann Lecture, he will do a book signing at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral,  15 East 97th St., New York, NY, on Sunday after Divine Liturgy, 10 a.m., February 6th. His Eminence will be signing two of the books he published with St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective (2009) and Orthodox Christianity: Volume I: The History and Canonical Structure of the Orthodox Church . He also will attend the U.S. English-language premiere of his opus St. Matthew Passion  on Monday, February 7th, 7:30 p.m. at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle,  on Columbus Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets, New York City.
Born in 1966, Metropolitan Hilarion received his initial education in music, studying violin, piano and composition, at the Moscow Gnessins School and the Moscow State Conservatory. After military service from 1984–86, he entered, in January 1987, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he was tonsured a monk, ordained deacon, and ordained priest in the same year. In 1989 he graduated from the Moscow Theological Seminary, and in 1991 from the Moscow Theological Academy. From 1991 to 1993 he taught Homiletics, Dogmatic Theology, New Testament Studies and Byzantine Greek at the Moscow Theological Schools. In 1995 he completed his doctoral thesis on "St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition" at Oxford University, Great Britain, under the supervision of Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware).
After completing his formal studies, from 1995 to 2001 he served as Secretary for Inter-Christian Affairs of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. On December 27, 2001 he was elected bishop, and on January 14, 2002 consecrated by His Holiness Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, and ten other bishops. He served as an Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Sourozh in Great Britain until his nomination, on July 17, 2002, as Head of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions. On May 7, 2003 he was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria, as well as temporary administrator of the Diocese of Budapest and Hungary, in addition to his position as the Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions in Brussels. On March 31, 2009 he was appointed Bishop of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations. On April 20, 2009 he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop.
Metropolitan Hilarion is the author of more than 700 publications, including numerous books in Russian, English, French, Italian, German, and Finnish. Apart from his doctoral degree from Oxford, he also holds a doctorate from St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris.