Faculty Footnotes

Dr. Tracy Gustilo joins Ecumenical Patriarch at ecological summit in Turkey

For the sake of worldwide cooperation and conversation about pressing environmental issues, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew hosted the third Halki Summit in Istanbul, Turkey from May 31 to June 4, 2019. Halki III brought together distinguished representatives of Orthodox theological schools and seminaries from all over the world—some fifty delegates from over forty institutions, including St. Vladimir’s Seminary—to focus on the theme of “Theological Formation and Ecological Awareness.” Prominent environmental theologians from Roman Catholic and Protestant churches also participated.

Dr. Gustilo with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BartholomewDr. Gustilo with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BartholomewPresentations and discussions were focused on the importance of curriculum and theological education for addressing present-day ecological concerns. His All-Holiness Bartholomew addressed the summit to encourage its work, and Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon set the tone with an opening meditation on eucharistic liturgy. High-level presentations that followed included discussion about the role of wisdom in creation theology, the importance of understanding humans to be part of creation (and not just individual agents surrounded by an “environment”), liturgy, and the role of scripture study, the natural sciences, and whole-institution involvement. The second day of the summit brought a lively set of presentations on everything from an important World Council of Churches (WCC) initiative for greening parishes to raising awareness of food culture, to the influence monasteries can have through farming as outreach, hospitality, and spiritual care.

There was much interest from all participants to bridge from theology into practice, and to work across the curriculum of theological schools, rather than just add a single course or elective. Orthodox liturgical and spiritual traditions are uniquely positioned to address the deep (and spiritual) roots of climate change, threats to the ecological health of the planet, its ecosystems, and species, and the resulting injustice to the poor, refugees, and indigenous peoples.

The challenge now is to bring our theology to bear by collaborating with other Christian churches and religious traditions, and with non-religious organizations and scientific experts, to prepare clergy, church leaders, and the laity in parishes to play a much greater part in addressing complex problems. These problems will find no solution without spiritual and religious motivation and guidance. The world has long been watching — and waiting — for the Church to take an active role and visible leadership in addressing global concerns.

His-All Holiness, “The Green Patriarch,” has led the way for thirty years, but he expressed grief that so much remains to be done. He is looking to seminaries and theological schools to step up their attention and focus.

To that end, I chaired the session on eco-theological curriculum. I also shared about the Seminary’s Vision 2020 initiative and the student-led (and very active) St. Herman Society for Orthodox Ecology on campus. Significantly, I wasn’t the only person representing St. Vladimir’s at the summit. My fellow faculty member Dr. Gayle Woloschak also took part, as did current Doctor of Ministry student Nathan Hoppe and Alumni Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dn. Alexander Calikyan, and Bogdan Neacsiu.

Following Halki III, a working group is being formed to continue the conversation specifically in terms of seminary education.

Previous Faculty Footnotes:

Title Author Date
Dr. Tracy Gustilo joins Ecumenical Patriarch at ecological summit in Turkey Dr. Tracy Davis Gustilo June 6, 2019
Fr. John Behr discusses new work on John’s Gospel Very Rev. Dr. John Behr April 23, 2019
The Credo in late medieval music Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff April 17, 2019
Reflections on the IOTA meeting, Iasi, Romania, 9-12 January 2019 Dr. Gayle E. Woloschak January 21, 2019
Fr. Sergius Halvorsen speaks to DOOR on faith and science VRev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen November 30, 2018
Fr. John Behr and Fr. Eugen J. Pentiuc help launch Pan-Orthodox Study Bible Project Very Rev. Dr. John Behr October 31, 2018
Amazon releases Becoming a Healing Presence as Audiobook Dr. Albert S. Rossi August 31, 2018
SVOTS professors, alumni participate in Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff June 28, 2018
Holy Cross appoints Fr. Eugen Pentiuc first Archbishop Demetrios Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins June 25, 2018
Fr. John Behr travels the globe, finishes major work on Gospel of John Very Rev. Dr. John Behr June 18, 2018
SVOTS professors contribute to resource for Orthodox caregivers Rev. Adrian Budica May 25, 2018
Revitalizing Parish Music efforts continue in Virginia Robin Freeman May 3, 2018
SVOTS faculty, alumnus take part in discussion of theology and psychology Rev. Adrian Budica April 6, 2018
Workshop for Readers and Musicians VRev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen September 15, 2017
Father Alexander Rentel Participates in 3 International Gatherings Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel July 5, 2017
Professor Pentiuc Spreads God’s Word in Romania June 22, 2017
Classroom Exchange Highlights Institutional Ties Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff April 25, 2016
SVOTS Liturgical Art Lecturer Offers Tour of Met's Byzantine Collection April 5, 2016
Drs. Daniel and Jane Hinshaw Represent SVOTS at the University of Balamand Dr. Daniel B. Hinshaw February 22, 2016
SVOTS Dean and Professors Attend Meeting of Scholars at Ecumenical Patriarchate Very Rev. Dr. John Behr January 13, 2016
Three Faculty Members Offer Presentations at NYC Sacred Arts Conference Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff December 9, 2015
Dean Travels to India for Malankara Church Celebrations Very Rev. Dr. John Behr December 7, 2015
The 1000th Anniversary of the Repose of St. Vladimir Celebration Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield December 2, 2015
SVOTS in Nairobi and Istanbul: Dr. Paul Meyendorff November 23, 2015
SVOTS Professor Offers Presentation at Orthodox Institute VRev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen November 19, 2015
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Supervisor Fr. Adrian Budica is Awarded Full Certification Rev. Adrian Budica November 5, 2015
Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Celebrates Fifty Years of Dialogue November 2, 2015
Dean's New Book Examines Life-Death Relationship Very Rev. Dr. John Behr October 28, 2015
Seminary Hosts Yale Sacred Music Students Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff September 28, 2015
Dean's European Travels Strengthen Ties with SVOTS Alumni and Friends Very Rev. Dr. John Behr September 22, 2015
Archpriest Alexander Rentel Attends Canonization on Behalf of Seminary Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel September 11, 2015
Ministry and Pilgrimage: SVOTS Lecturer and Director of Chapel Music Returns to Alaska September 7, 2015
SVOTS Scripture Professor is Main Contributor to New Study Bible August 5, 2015
BBC Music Magazine Features Article by Dr. Bouteneff Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff August 3, 2015
SVOTS Professor and Trustee Will Both Serve on Faith and Order Commission June 24, 2015
St. Vladimir's Seminary in Constantinople Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel June 22, 2015
Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Holds 88th Meeting at St. Vladimir's June 8, 2015
Dr. Meyendorff Participates in Orthodox-Catholic Colloquium May 6, 2015
Surprising Vitality! Orthodox Christianity in Vienna Very Rev. Dr. John Behr April 23, 2015
SVS Press and SVOTS Professor Launch Book at NYC Arts Festival Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff April 14, 2015
Dr. Meyendorff Presents Lecture in Rome, Italy April 3, 2015
Dr. Meyendorff Speaks at Huffington Ecumenical Institute Conference March 9, 2015
Estonia's Prime Minister Offers Kudos to Arvo Pärt Team Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff December 18, 2014
Dr. Meyendorff Meets with St. Irenaeus Orthodox-Catholic Working Group November 12, 2014
North American Orthodox–Catholic Theological Group Meets November 3, 2014
At the Pappas Patristic Institute Conference VRev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen October 16, 2014
Professor Meyendorff Meets with Working Group on Theological Education October 7, 2014
Presentation at Westminster Highlights Arvo Pärt's Spiritual Roots Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff September 30, 2014
Professor Rentel Serves OCA as Canonical Consultant Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel September 17, 2014
Working With Student Leaders Dr. Albert S. Rossi September 11, 2014
Meeting Jesus in the Temple Very Rev. Dr. John Behr March 27, 2014
Becoming a Healing Presence Dr. Albert S. Rossi October 25, 2013
Travelogue and Final Reflections Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel July 11, 2013
Orthodox Unity and Autocephaly: Fr. John Meyendorff's Timely Message November 6, 2012
"Ministering to God": A Reflection On the Life of St. Innocent of Alaska Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel October 11, 2012
Reflection on "For God and Country" Orthodox Education Day 2011 Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff October 24, 2011
Women in the Orthodox Church, Here and Now Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff May 26, 2011
Unity in Diversity: The Opportunities and the Challenges Dr. Peter C. Bouteneff October 20, 2010
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