Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff

Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff

Professor of Systematic Theology

Peter Bouteneff teaches courses in ancient and modern theology and spirituality at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, where he is Professor of Systematic Theology. After taking a degree in music in 1983 he lived and worked in Japan, and traveled widely in Asia and Greece. He has an M.Div. from St Vladimir’s Seminary and a doctorate from Oxford University, where he studied under Bishop Kallistos Ware​. He has worked for many years in theological dialogue, notably as Executive Secretary for Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches, and has written extensively on Orthodox relations with other churches. He has broad interests in theology ancient and modern, and is committed to exploring the connections between theology and culture. He conceived of and edits the "Foundations" series for SVS Press, to which he has contributed a volume called Sweeter than Honey: Orthodox Thinking on Dogma and Truth. In 2008 he authored a study of how early Christians read the Genesis creation accounts, called Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives.

Professor Bouteneff is director of the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary, an in-depth endeavor involving concerts, lectures, and publications. His most recent book is Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence , that has been hailed as "a triumph," "a game-changer for Pärt scholarship," and "a must-read for any listener or performer of Pärt's music." As of 2016 he also directs the seminary’s Sacred Arts Initiative.

Educational Background

  • B.Mus., New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA, 1983
  • M.Div., St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1990
  • M.Phil. in Theology/Patristic Theology, Oxford University, 1992
  • D.Phil. in Theology, Oxford University, 1997

Teaching Interests

  • Orthodox Theology Ancient and Modern
  • Sacred Arts
  • Theology and Culture

Current Projects and Research Interests

My most recent book is about the Estonian Orthodox composer Arvo Pärt. I'm working on a book called, How to Be a Sinner: Finding Your Self in the Church's Language of Repentance.

Recent Courses Taught at SVOTS

  • Prayer and Sanctity
  • Christology and the Eastern/Oriental Dialogue
  • Orthodox Christian Identity and Otherness

Selected Publications

Recent Conference Presentations and Activities

  • Pre-concert Lecture on Arvo Pärt's "Passio" at Yale Institute of Sacred Music, February 21, 2016.
  • "The Estonian Singing Revolution," Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, February 4, 2016.
  • "Beauty in a Time of Darkness: Arvo Part and Theology," at St George's Orthodox Church, Fishers, IN, February 4, 2016.
  • "The Case for an Interdisciplinary Study of the Sacred Arts," Sofia Institute Conference, New York, December 4, 2015.
Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff


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