The article offers a portrait of Porfirije (Perić), the new patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, elected in February 2021. Based on Porfirije’s own writings, he is characterized first and foremost as a “builder of bridges” in various senses and contexts of dialogue, concerning ecumenical, but also inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue. This corresponds with his conscious self-identification and interpretation of his role as a Christian and as an Orthodox bishop. Main sketches of this image already became visible during Porfirije’s time as Orthodox metropolitan of Zagreb, a position he took over by 2014. Historical burdens from the complex history of the territory of former Yugoslavia form multiple challenges to the conciliatory approach of Porfirije. The Serbian patriarch devotes particular attention to the relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, in Croatia and beyond.
Trinitarian theology occupies a central place in the work of Dumitru Stăniloae. For him, Trinity is “real metaphysics” and, in several studies, he develops a rich and complex Triadology drawing on the philosophical notions of dialogue and intersubjectivity. Since both these notions have been developed first by Western philosophy, the article aims to examine Stăniloae’s debt to Western thought. Contrary to some widespread opinions, the article will argue that Stăniloae’s engagement with the West was not only polemical, but also constructive and fruitful. In a first step, the article will identify the readings through which these notions of subjectivity and dialogue entered Stăniloae’s understanding of the Trinity. Then, it will move to analyse the way in which Stăniloae rephrased these concepts in the frame of the Orthodox tradition. Finally, it will assess the originality and the impact of Western thought on Stăniloae, by comparing his Trinitarian model with several modern models from East and West.