Very Rev. Alexander Rentel

Assistant Professor of Canon Law and Byzantine Studies and The John and Paraskeva Skvir Lecturer in Practical Theology

(914) 961-8313 x 369
(914) 355-1470 – cell
alexander.rentel - Skype
(914) 961-4507 – fax 

Archpriest Alexander Rentel, a 1995 M.Div. graduate of St. Vladimir's, finished his doctoral dissertation under the direction of Fr Robert Taft, SJ, at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome in January 2004. Prior to coming to St Vladimir's as a professor, Fr Alexander was a 2000-2001 Junior Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. He has taken numerous research trips to Greece, Italy, and France. He was ordained to the priesthood in July 2001. He and his wife, Nancy (née Homyak, M.Div. 1995) are the proud parents of three children, Dimitrios, Maria, and Daniel.

Education: 

PONTIFICAL ORIENTAL INSTITUTE, Rome, Italy

Doctor in Scientiis Ecclesiasticis Orientalibus, Summa Cum Laude 2004
Faculty of Eastern Christian Studies, Liturgical Section
Dissertation topic: “The 14th Century Patriarchal Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos. Edition and Commentary”
Licentiate, Magna Cum Laude 1999
Faculty of Eastern Christian Studies, Liturgical Section
Thesis: “An Introductory Study of the Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos”

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, Middlebury, Vermont
Intensive summer Russian language program 1995

ST. VLADIMIR’S ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, Crestwood, New York
Master of Divinity 1995
Thesis topic: “John VI Kantakouzenos and the Hesychast Councils of the Fourteenth Century”

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, Columbus, Ohio
Bachelor of Arts, English 1990

ACADEMIC GRANTS , FELLOWSHIPS, AND ASSOCIATIONS

2006-2007 Lilly Research Expense Grant through The Association of Theological Schools for the project: “The Development of the Orthodox Prothesis Rite. Part I: the Diataxis Tradition”

2001 recipient of Dissertation Grant from Medieval Academy of America

2000-2001 Junior Fellow in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

1997 and 1998 recipient of Summer Research Stipend from the Hilander Research Library/Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Member: Society of Oriental Liturgy

LANGUAGES
Ancient, Biblical, and Byzantine Greek, French, German, Italian, Russian

Publications: 

Dissertations and Theses

  • SEOD Thesis: "Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos. Edition and Commentary." (see abstract)
  • Licentiate: "An Introductory Study of the Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos"
  • M.Div. Thesis: "John VI Kantakouzenos and the Hesychast Councils of the Fourteenth Century"

Publications

  • “The Relationship between Bishops, Synods, and the Metropolitan-Bishop in the Orthodox Canonical Tradition, ” Power and Authority in Eastern Christian Tradition (eds., J.A. McGuckin and F.K. Soumakis) (New York, 2011).
  • “A Comparison of the Liturgical Rites of Ordination and the Canonical Act of Deposition,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 55 (2011) 27-57.
  • “Ecumenical Patriarchate,” The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology (I. McFarland, et al., ed.) (Cambridge 2011) 373-374.
  • “Чинопоследования хиротоний и каноническая процедура избержения из сана: сопоставление,” Православное учение о церковных таинствах. Москва, 13-16 Ноября 2007 г. Tom II: Eвхаристия: богословие Священство (Moscow 2009) 387-401.
  • The 14th Century Patriarchal Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos. Edition and Commentary. Contract signed for publication in Orientalia Christiana Analecta. In preparation.
  • “Byzantine-Slav Worship,”  in G. Wainwright and K. Westerfield Tucker, eds., Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford University Press 2006), 254-306.
  • “The Origins of the 14th Century Patriarchal Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 71.2 (2005) 363-385.
  • Book review of R. Jordan (ed. and trans.), The Synaxarion of the Monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis. Vol. 1: September to February (Belfast Byzantine Texts and Translations 6.5, Belfast 2000) in St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 46.1 (2002) 95-98.
  • Book review of D. Nicol, The Reluctant Emperor (Cambridge 1996), in St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 41:4 (1997) 383-385.

Papers Delivered and Field Research

  • “A Examination of the Canonical Tradition Pertaining to Territory,” Paper given at the Oslo Coalition Workshop on Canonical Territory as a Modern Challenge at Lysebu, Oslo, Norway, December 14-16, 2012.
  • “Liturgical Insights into the Canonical Question of Primacy,” Communication Paper at the Fourth Internation Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy, Beirut, Lebanon, July 10-15, 2012.
  • “The Relationship between Bishops, Synods, and the Metropolitan-bishop in the Orthodox Canonical Tradition,” Paper given at the 3rd Annual Sophia Institute Conference, “Power and Authority in the Eastern Christian Experience,” New York, New York, December 3, 2010.
  • “Εὐχαριστία in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition”: Paper given at the Eleanor Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar, Saturday, October 10, 2009, Notre Dame College, South Euclid, Ohio.
  • “Towards a Theological Vision of Canon Law”: Paper offered at the meeting of the clergy of the New Jersey Deanery, Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Orthodox Church in America, September 15, 2009, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City, New Jersey.
  • “‘Not Conformed, but in Order to Transform’: The World, Culture, and the Christian Leitourgia”: Paper delivered at the international conference “Church and Culture,” May 7-10, 2009, at the Holy Metropolis of Demetrias, Academy for Theological Studies, Volos, Greece.
  • “Благодать священства и церковные каноны (= The Grace of the Priesthood and Church Canons)”: Interview in Встреча: студенческий православный журнал Московской духовной академии, 26.1 (2008) 4-7.
  • “Comments on New Finds in the Liturgical Diataxis Tradition,” and “Introducing the Forthcoming Edition of the Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos,” Seminar and Communication Papers given at the Second International Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy, Rome, Italy, September 17-21, 2008.
  • “A Comparison of the Liturgical Rites of Ordination and the Canonical Act of Deposition”: Paper given at the Vth International Theological Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church “Orthodox Teaching on the Sacraments of the Church,” Moscow, Russia, November 13-16, 2007
  • “Why Liturgy?”: Paper delivered at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2007 Liturgical Institute of Music and Pastoral Practice, “Why Liturgy Matters: Worship as Witness in a Changing World, June 24-27, 2007
  • “The Liturgy of the Great Church on the Eve of Destruction: the Prevelance of the Monastic Rite at the End of the Byzantine Empire”: Paper delivered at the First Kallinikeion Conference of New York Byzantinists, Queens College, New York, April 2, 2007
  • “Towards a Theological Vision for Orthodox Canon Law” Paper delivered at the Seventh Congress of the Higher Orthodox Schools of Theology, Orthodox Tradition and the 21st Century, Joensuu, Finland, June 12-19, 2006
  • "Marriage: Sacrament Under Siege." Paper delivered at 35th Annual Fall Adult Education Lecture Series at St. Tikhon's Seminary on October 4, 2005.
  • “The Purpose, Development, and Forms of Orthodox Hymnography” Papers delivered at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2005 Liturgical Institute of Music and Pastoral Practice, “Church and World I: The Church and Culture”
  • “The Passion and the Liturgy: Towards a Renewed Mystagogy” Paper delivered at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2005 Symposium on the Passion of Christ
  • “Contemporary Challenges to Christian Marriage: Divorce, Mixed and Interfaith Marriages, and Cohabitation” and “The Rite of Matrimony: A Pastoral Resource” Papers delivered at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2004 Liturgical Institute of Music and Pastoral Practice,  “Does Christian Marriage Have a Future?”
  • “Liturgical Unity and Diversity: Diversity of Practice, Unity of Faith” Paper delivered at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2003 Liturgical Institute of Music and Pastoral Practice
  • “Has Jerusalem Served to Unite or Divide Christians? A Review of the Liturgical Evidence” Paper delivered at 2003 Eastern-Oriental Orthodox Symposium “Jerusalem: Does it Divide or Unite?”
  •  “A Taxonomy of the Recensions of the Patriarchal Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos” Paper delivered at the 2001 Byzantine Studies Conference, Notre Dame, Indiana.
  • “The Curious Absence of an Imperial Commemoration at the Prothesis in the Patriarchal Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos” Paper delivered at Societas Liturgica 2001 meeting in Santa Clara, California.
  • “The Origins of the 14th Century Patriarchal Liturgical Diataxis of Dimitrios Gemistos” Paper delivered at the 2000 Byzantine Studies Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Presentations: 
  • “The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Canonical Traditions: Formation, Ecclesiological Principles and Sacramental Life,“ Twelve-session class for a group of Coptic Orthodox Priests at their Archdiocesan Headquarters in Cedar Grove, NJ, Spring 2012
  • “The Holy Eucharist as God's Philanthrophia,” Lenten Talk given at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunication, New York, NY, on April 2, 2011.
  • “The Worthiness of a Priest before and after Ordination,” Retreat given for the Clergy of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania (OCA), South Canaan, Pennsylvania, December 7, 2010.
  • “Has Jerusalem Served to Unite or Divide Christians? A Consideration of the Liturgical Evidence”: Plenary Address given at the Third International Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy, Volos, Greece, May 26-30, 2010.
  • “Beholding the Beauty of the Lord”: Lenten Retreat given at Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Pheonix, Arizona, March 20, 2010.
  • “Church Scandals and the Canons”: Interview given to Kevin Allen’s Podcast, The Illumined Heart, on Ancient Faith Radio, released October 16, 2009.
  • “Towards a Theological Vision of Canon Law” and “The Relationship between a Metropolitan and Bishops according to the Canons”: two lectures given at the Clergy Continuing Education Symposium, Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, Orthodox Church in America, June 16, 2009.
  • “Orthodox Christian Worship: What Worship Is and What It Does for Us”: Retreat given at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Claremont, New Hampshire, September 22, 2007
  • “‘We did not know if we were in Heaven or on Earth...’: Themes in Russian Orthodox Church History” Series of Lectures for the 2006 Eagle River Institute, Eagle River, Alaska
  • “Orthodox Theology of Marriage,” Lecture to Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York, March 14, 2006
  • “Divorce, Mixed-Marriage, And Cohabitation: The Sacrament of Marriage under Siege,” Lecture the Footlamps 2005 Family & Young Adult Educational Workshop Series sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Diocese of Worcester, St. Mary Church, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, February 25, 2006
Teaching Experience: 
  • 2010 – current: Assistant Professor in Canon Law and the John and Paraskeva Skvir Lecturer in Practical Theology, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
  • 2007- current: Seminary Ecclesiarch, responsible for overseeing the liturgical celebrations of the seminary, the instruction of liturgics, the deployment of the student body into Chapel Teams
  • 2004-2010: Assistant Professor of Canon Law and Byzantine Studies, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
  • 2002-2004: Instructor in Church History and Canon Law, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
Church & Professional Activities: 
  • 2012-current: Dollar Treasurer for the Society of Oriental Liturgy
  • March 20, 2011: Represented St. Vladimir’s Seminary at the Ordination of Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Proussa, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2006-2010: Member of Study and Planning Commission, Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America
  • 2004-2010: Consultant for Department of External Affairs, Orthodox Church in America
  • March 11-12, 2009: Represented the Orthodox Church in America, at an Inter-Orthodox consultation in Sofia, Bulgaria in response to the January 22, 2009 decision by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (Case of Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan Inokentiy) and Others v. Bulgaria (Applications nos. 412/03 and 35677/04)), Sophia, Bulgaria,
  • July 23-28, 2006: Participant in roundtable at the First Meeting of the Society of Oriental Liturgy, Eichstatt, Germany
  • February 14-23, 2006: Delegate to the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • 2002-current: Consultant Orthodox Church in America for Synodal and Canonical Affairs
  • 2001-current: Ordained Presbyter, Orthodox Church in America