33rd Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture: “Toward the Holy and Great Council”

January 31, 2016

View a list of earlier presenters of the Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture

The Reverend Dr. John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, will be the presenter at the 33rd Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at 7 p.m. The lecture is titled, "Toward the Holy and Great Council: Retrieving a Culture of Conciliarity and Consensus," and will be held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on our campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Prior to the lecture, the seminary Board of Trustees and Faculty will award a Doctor of Divinity degree honoris causa to Fr. John. It will also award a Doctor of Canon Law degree honoris causa to former Trustee Charles Ajalat.

Father John was born in Australia (1958), where he matriculated at The Scots College (1975). He received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens (1980), a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Greek Conservatory of Music (1979), and was awarded a research scholarship to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (1982). He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford (1983).

After several months in silent retreat on Mount Athos, he served as Personal Assistant to the Greek Orthodox Primate in Australia (1984-94) and was co-founder of St. Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney (1985), where he was Sub-Dean and taught Patristics and Church History (1986-95). He was also Lecturer in the Divinity School (1986-90) and the School of Studies in Religion (1990-95) at the University of Sydney.

In 1995, he moved to Boston, where he was appointed Professor of Theology at Holy Cross School of Theology and directed the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College until 2002. He established the Environment Office at the same school in 2001. He has also taught as Professor of Patristics at Balamand University in Lebanon. A member of the Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, he coordinates the Social and Moral Issues Commission of the Orthodox Churches in America. Currently, he serves as theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues.

Father John is the author of over twenty books and numerous articles in several languages on the Church Fathers and Orthodox spirituality, including Letters from the Desert: A Selection from Barsanuphius and John, published St. Vladimir’s Press in 2003. He is also the editor of three volumes containing the select writings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Fordham University Press, 2010-2012).