Dr. Grant S. White

Dr. Grant S. White

Assistant Professor of Liturgical Theology

Grant White is an Orthodox layperson and a member of the Orthodox Church of Finland. A native of central Kansas, he has taught history of Christian liturgy, liturgical theology, historical theology, church history, patristics, Orthodox theology, history of the ecumenical movement, and history of Christian-Jewish relations in the United States, Finland, and the United Kingdom. He has served as Principal of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, England, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Filantropia, the international missions and development agency of the Orthodox Church of Finland. His interests include: Orthodox theology in the (post-)modern age, the work and legacy of Fr. Lev Gillet, art and spirituality in the modern world, Orthodox theological approaches and pastoral responses to suffering, and Orthodox-Evangelical dialogue. He and his family live in Turku, Finland.

Educational Background

  • A.B., Harvard University
  • Fulbright Scholar, Oxford University
  • M.A., University of Notre Dame
  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Teaching Interests

  • Liturgical Theology
  • History of Liturgy
  • Christian Spirituality
  • History of Christian Spirituality

Current Projects and Research Interests

  • Book-in-progress (co-authored with SVOTS faculty member Rev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen): on journeying to faith in a world beyond modernity
  • Article-in-progress: a theological reflection on meanings of "welcoming the stranger" in the context of Orthodox Christian liturgical life

Research interests

  • The intersections of spirituality, art, and tradition in 20th-century and 21st-century art
  • Liturgy and digital technology
  • The concept of presence in the context of Christian liturgy, virtual reality, and religious uses of digital technologies
  • The intersections of liturgical life and prophetic witness
  • Contemporary Orthodox ecumenical engagement
  • Theological anthropology
  • Christian-Jewish relations
  • Orthodox theological approaches to other world religions
  • The interpretation of Scripture in the life of the Church
  • Liturgy and mission
  • Contemporary interpretations of catechesis and mystagogy in Orthodox practice today
  • Oriental Orthodox liturgical and theological traditions
  • Orthodoxy in the "west" in the 20th and 21st centuries
  • constructions of Orthodox spirituality in modernity
  • The work of Fr. Lev Gillet
  • Forms of Orthodox theological education
  • Orthodox liturgical renewal and revision
  • Formation of an Orthodox vision of the baptismal vocation of all Christians
  • Historical and contemporary uses of the idea of kenosis in Orthodox theology

Recent Courses Taught at SVOTS

  • LT539, Liturgical Life and Pastoral Ministry (D.Min., May-August 2015)

Selected Publications

A. Books

  • Daily Prayer and Its Ascetic Context in the Syriac and Ethiopic Testamentum Domini.  Joensuu Publications in Theology.  University of Joensuu Press, 2002.
  • The Testamentum Domini:  A Text for Students.  Alcuin-GROW Joint Liturgical Study no. 19.  Bramcote, Notts.:  Grove Books, 1991. 

B. Articles and Chapters of Books

  • “Orthodox Understanding of Liturgy and Ordained Ministry with Special Reference to the Ecumenical Dialogues.” In:  Iversen, Hans Raun, ed., Rites of Ordination and Commitment in the Churches of the Nordic Countries:  Theology and Terminology. University of Copenhagen:  Museum Tusculanum Press, 2006. Pp. 501-515.  
  • “The Recovery of the Great Eucharistic Prayer in Wesleyanism.” In:  Kimbrough, S.T., ed. Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural Understanding and Practice. Crestwood, New York:  St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2006. 
  • ”Orthodox Positions on War and Peace.” In:  Asfaw, Semegnish, et.al., eds., The Responsibility to Protect: Ethical and Theological Reflections. Geneva:  World Council of Churches, 2005. Pp. 37-39.
  • “Monastic and Ascetic Life, Tradition, and Interpretation:  A Reflection.” In:  Kvist, Hans-Olof, ed., Askese und gemeinsames Leben:  Vorträge der sechsten Finnisch-deutschen Theologentagung (Makarios-Symposium) in Turku, Finnland 25.-28.9.2003. Åbo:  Åbo Akademis tryckeri, 2004. Pp. 109-116.
  • “New Directions in Orthodox Theology.” In: Larjo, Lassi, ed., Teologian uudet virtaukset:  STKS:n symposiumissa marraskuussa 2003 pidetyt esitelmät.  Helsinki:  Suomalainen teologinen kirjallisuusseura, 2004. Pp. 234-252.
  • “On the Night He Was Betrayed:  Origins of the Institution Narrative in the Anaphora.” In:  Jarmo Hakkarainen, et.al., Veisuin ylistäkää:  Juhlakirja Hilkka Seppälän täyttäessä 60 vuotta. Joensuu, Finland: University of Joensuu, 2003. Pp. 339-368.
  • "The Imagery of Angelic Praise and Heavenly Topography in the Testament of Our Lord."  Ecclesia Orans 19 (2002), 315-332.
  • “The Christian-Jewish Encounter and the Practices of the United Methodist Church: An Exploration.” Quarterly Review Fall 2000: 281-296.
  • "Liturgy and the History of Christianity."  In:  Bradshaw, Paul F., and Bryan D. Spinks, eds. Liturgy in Dialogue.  London:  SPCK, 1994. 100-114; New York: Pueblo, 1997.  Pp. 102-116. 
  • "James F. White:  Historian, Liturgist, Teacher."  In:  Tucker, Karen Westerfield, ed. The Sunday Service of the Methodists:  Twentieth-Century Worship in World-Wide Methodism (Studies in Honor of James F. White).   Nashville, Tennessee:  Kingswood Books, 1996. pp. 333-346.
  • Chapters on Gregory Dix, Louis Bouyer, and William Busch in: Tuzik, Robert L., ed. How Firm a Foundation: Leaders of the Liturgical Movement. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1990. Pp. 63-69; 96-104; 200-206. 
  • “History of the Eucharist in the East.”  In: Fink, Peter, ed. The New Dictionary of Sacramental Worship.  Collegeville, Minnesota:  Michael Glazier, 1990. Pp. 410-416.
  • Translations of ordination prayers for bishops, presbyters, deacons, readers and widows from the Syriac Testamentum Domini.  In: Bradshaw, Paul F., ed. Ordination Rites of the Ancient Churches of East and West.  New York:  Pueblo, 1989.  Pp. 117-121; 267. 

Other Works:

  • Grant S. White and Teuvo Laitila, eds. In collaboration with Antti Suvanto. Orthodox Tradition and the 21st Century. University of Joensuu Publications in Theology 40. University of Joensuu: 2007.
  • "The Russian Orthodox Church and Europe." In:  Lucia Faltin and Melanie J. Wright, eds., Religious Roots of Contemporary European Identity. London: Continuum, 2007.  Pp. 78-88.
  • "Juutalaisvastaisuus kirkon historiassa, Osa II." Trans. Riina Nguyen and Heikki Huttunen. Logos 6/2006, pp. 7-11.

Recent Conference Presentations and Activities

  • Participant, Lausanne Orthodox Initiative Convocation (Monastery of St. Vlash, Albania, September 2015; Helsinki, September 2016)