Alumni News

Archbishop Alexander Golitzin honored at North American Patristics Society event

Fr Bogdan Bucur speaks at the special session honoring Archbishop Alexander
Fr. Bogdan Bucur (standing) speaking at the special session honoring Archbishop Alexander (seated, middle)


Archbishop Alexander seated at the special session

Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Alumnus The Most Rev. Dr. Alexander (Golitzin) was honored at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the North American Patristics Society (NAPS) in Chicago. On His Eminence’s birthday, May 27, the recently published book Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism: Studies in Honor of Alexander Golitzin—a collective volume edited by Professor Andrei Orlov (Marquette University), containing articles by colleagues, academic collaborators, and former doctoral students of the honoratus—was presented officially at a special session.

Professor Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Brown University), Professor Robin Darling Young (Catholic University of America), The Rev. Dr. Silviu Bunta (University of Dayton), and The Rev. Dr. Bogdan Bucur (St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary) spoke about Archbishop Alexander’s work on Dionysius the Areopagite, on major ascetical and mystical texts in the patristic and later Byzantine tradition, on Syriac patristics, the Theophaneia School, and Archbishop Alexander's place in Orthodox theology.

After being presented with the Festschrift, Archbishop Alexander was invited to take the floor for a cordial and enriching session of questions and answers, which gave him an opportunity to remember the priest and parish of his youth (Fr. Sergei Glagolev at St. Innocent in Tarzana, CA); his time at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (1970-1973); his fond memories of his academic mentor, Fr. John Meyendorff; his doctoral studies at Oxford under (now Metropolitan) Kallistos Ware; his stay on Mount Athos, where he found, in Elder Aimilianos of Simonos Petras, “the holy man, not as a distant ideal or a literary topos ... but as a reality”; and his over two decades as professor of theology at Marquette University.

Alexander Golitzin as a young subdeacon

In the introduction to the volume, Andrei Orlov notes that his former professor "established himself as a leading expert on Jewish and Christian mysticism. Although widely known for his groundbreaking scholarship, he also became an exceptional teacher who was able to mentor a large cohort of doctoral students during his time at Marquette. He was particularly helpful to those students who came to Marquette University from the Eastern Orthodox tradition, by giving them a clearer understanding of their own theological and spiritual legacy.”

May God grant His Eminence, Archbishop Alexander many years!

Bottom photo: Archbishop Alexander as a young subdeacon