Dr. Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie
Professor of Church History
Born in Communist Romania, educated both during the last decade of the Ceausescu's dictatorship and the first decade of the democratic regimes, I had the privilege of receiving a full theological education in a majority Orthodox Church, an experience that helped me to properly understand the richness of the Orthodox tradition. Several study trips (starting in 2002 with six-months spent at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, United Kingdom) in Europe and the United States immersed me both into excellent academic circles and the life and pastoral work of different Orthodox jurisdictions.
I began my theological education back in 1991 in Buzău (Romania) at the "Bishop Kesarie" Seminary, one of the oldest and most renowned institutions of its kind that survived through the Communist period. My theological formation was better shaped during the years I spent as a student at the University of Bucharest. There, I obtained a BA in Pastoral Orthodox Theology, MA in Historical Theology, and PhD in Theology. My alma mater granted me two more degrees: a MA in History of South-Eastern Europe (11th-15th centuries) and a PhD in Byzantine History. During the recent academic years I was selected as a post-doc fellow by the Institut für Byzanzforschung (Vienna) / Romanian Academy (2011-2012), Woodrow Wilson Center / Romanian Cultural Institute (2012), Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (2014), New Europe College (2014-2015), and Central European University (2016-2018).
The Medieval/Early Modern Church History that inspires my research also informs my teaching commitments covering Byzantine history, the Middle Ages in the South-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, and Theological Controversies between Latin and Byzantine Churches. In terms of methodology, I follow an interdisciplinary philosophy by combining concepts and examples drawn from several disciplines (e.g. History, Theology, and Social Anthropology).
Current Projects and Research Interests
Through my specialization in Theology and History, I have been ideally situated to study relations between the Byzantine spiritual and political powers, the Church, and the State. Therefore, my main research interests focus on Byzantine imperial ideology. My book, titled, Imperial Authority in Crisis: Michael VIII Palaiologos (1258-1282) and the Relations between the Byzantine State and the Church (in Romanian) was published in 2016 and deals with the relationships between the representatives of temporal (emperor) and spiritual (patriarch) authorities of Byzantine society in official and unofficial meetings.
My secondary research interests deal with Byzantine historiography. Obtaining financial support from the University of Bucharest and Collège de France, I co-organized and hosted an international conference in Bucharest (2014) dedicated to a critical approach on the academic works of the French Institute for Byzantine Studies (IFEB) scholars. The proceedings of this conference under my co-editorship were included in the prestigious collection Archives de l’Orient Chrétien, and recently published under the auspices of the Institut Français d'Études Byzantines (Paris, 2017). I am currently working on a monograph in English (to be finished by the end of 2019) highlighting the interaction between French scholars and Romanian historians based on these unedited archive documents.
Finally, I am extending my research on two fascinating topics that are chronologically circumscribed to Early Modern History. The first one is related to an analysis of The Diaries of Western travelers to Constantinople (second half of the 16th century). As the outcome of Romania's highest national competition (PCE - Exploratory Research Projects), this project was listed first in the University of Bucharest applications within the section of Humanities and Social Sciences, and I have secured financial support from the Romanian National Council for Research (CNCS) for a project team consisting of nine (9) members. The anticipated results of this research include two volumes that will be proposed for publication in one of the specialized collections of Brill Publishers. The second topic investigates the relationship between the Greek Orthodox community and Ottoman rulers (15th to 17th centuries), with a special emphasis on the patriarch of Jerusalem, Dositheos II (1669-1707). This research is part of an ERC [European Research Council] project that deals with the interaction between Ottoman, Armenian, Jewish, and Greek Orthodox communities under the Sublime Porte jurisdiction.
In 2017, I was awarded the Nicolae Iorga Prize by the Romanian Society for Historical Sciences for the book, titled, Autoritatea imperială în criză: Mihail VIII Paleologul (1258-1282) și raporturile Statului bizantin cu Biserica [Imperial Authority in Crisis: Michael VIII Palaiologos (1258-1282) and the Relations between the Byzantine State and the Church], Brăila: Editura Istros, 2016.