Contributors

Dr. Nikolaos Asproulis

is deputy director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies (Volos, Greece), and lecturer in systematic theology at the Hellenic Open University (Patras, Greece). He has authored many articles on the history and theology of the Orthodox Church, theological methodology and hermeneutics, political theology, eco-theology and theological education. He is executive manager of the Volos Academy’s eco-theological project “Green parish initiative and parallel activities” in cooperation with WWF Greece. His recent publications include (co-edited with Theodota Nantsou), The Orthodox Church addresses Climate Crisis (Volos Academy Publications-WWF Greece, 2021); (co-edited with John Chryssavgis), Priests of Creation: John Zizioulas on Discerning an Ecological Ethos (T&T Clark, 2021); (co-edited with S. Devenish), Christian Responses to Spiritual Incursions into 21st-Century Church and Society (Cambridge Publishing Scholars, 2020).

Dr. Kateřina Kočandrle Bauer

is a researcher and lecturer in the Ecumenical Institute of the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague, where she also earned her doctorate. She teaches systematic theology from the ecumenical perspective, the history of doctrine and Christian spirituality in relationship with other religious traditions. Her main research has been related to the history of Russian émigré theology. She has written widely on Russian religious philosophy, sophiology, and anthropology within Orthodox theology, including collective monographs: Ivana Noble at al., The Ways of Orthodox Theology in the West (2015) and Ivana Noble at al., Wrestling with the Mind of the Fathers (2015).

Prof. Dr. Alfons Brüning

is the director of the Institute for Eastern Christian Studies affiliated with Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He is also professor (by special appointment) for “Eastern Orthodoxy, Human Rights, Peace Studies” at Protestant Theological University Amsterdam. His research focusses on questions of religious and cultural history of Eastern Christianity, but also of religion and society in contemporary Europe, mainly in the post-Soviet space. He teaches introductory courses about Orthodox Christianity, on the church in the Soviet Union, Russian Religious Philosophy, Religious history of Ukraine, and on the Art, Spirituality and Culture of Icons and Icon Veneration in Eastern Christianity. Main projects of his research in recent years dealt with confessionalization in Eastern Christianity, with the history and theology of the Orthodox Church in Soviet Russia and Ukraine, and with questions of Orthodox theology and human rights.

Prof. Dr. Chris Durante

is Associate Professor in the Department of Theology at Saint Peter’s University, New Jersey, as well as Fellow of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, where he serves on the Organizing Committee of the Bioethics, Multiculturalism and Religion workshops. During the academic year 2021-2022, he served as a Fellow of the NViTA (New Visions in Theological Anthropology) project of the Science-Engaged Theology initiative of the School of Divinity of St. Andrews University in Scotland. His research and teaching interests are in religion, ethics, science and society broadly construed to include: Bioethics, Comparative Religious Ethics, Ecological Ethics, Religion and Politics, and Moral Theology. His publications have appeared in a number of academic journals, including the American Journal of Bioethics; Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy; the Journal of Global Ethics; the Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies; and the Journal of Church and State.

Rev. Prof. Dr. K. M. George (Kondothra)

is currently Incumbent-Chairperson of Dr Paulos Mar Gregorios Chair at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India. He is also professor at the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, and Founder-Director of the Sopana Orthodox Academy for Studies in Theology and Culture. After being graduated in Chemistry from the Kerala University, he pursued theological studies in India and abroad, completing his doctoral studies in Paris. Being Ordained as priest of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, he has served the Church and the Academic and Ecumenical circles in various roles such as Principal at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, Professor at Bossey Ecumenical Institute in Geneva, Moderator of Program Committee of the World Council of Churches. He has also served in Faith and Order Commission, the Joint Working Group between the Vatican and WCC and various other Dialogue Commissions. Poet and artist, Fr. George has published three books of poems and held exhibitions of his paintings, along with his many theological publications.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grosshans

holds the chair of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Münster (Germany), where he is also Director of the Institute for Ecumenical Theology. He is member of the Münster interdisciplinary Cluster of Excellence on “Religion and Politics”. He is member of the executive committee of the European Academy of Religion, being its president in 2020–21. He is president of the German Society for the Philosophy of Religion and one of the vice-presidents of the European Society for the Philosophy of Religion. He is member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences. Since many years Hans-Peter Grosshans is a member of the commission of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) for the dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Rev. Prof. Dr. Cyril Hovorun

is Professor in Ecclesiology, International Relations and Ecumenism at the University College Stockholm (Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm). A graduate of the Theological Academy in Kyiv and National University in Athens, he accomplished his doctoral studies at Durham University (UK) under the supervision of Fr. Andrew Louth. He was a chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, first deputy chairman of the Educational Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church, and later research fellow at Yale and Columbia Universities, visiting professor at the University of Münster in Germany, director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Assistant Professor at the same university. He is an international fellow at Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life at the University of Alberta in Canada and an invited professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has published several books in different languages, including Eastern Christianity in Its Texts (London: T&T Clark, 2022); La riconciliazione delle memorie: Ricordare le separazioni tra le Chiese e la ricerca dell’unità (Roma: San Paolo, 2021, in co-authorship with Lothar Vogel and Stefano Cavallotto); Sacred Architecture in East and West (edited, Los Angeles: Tsehai, 2019); Political Orthodoxies: The Unorthodoxies of the Church Coerced (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2018; Ukrainian translation published in 2018); Ukrainian Public Theology (Kyiv: Dukh i Litera, 2017, in Ukrainian); Scaffolds of the Church: Towards Poststructural Ecclesiology (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017; Ukrainian translation published in 2018); Wonders of the Panorthodox Council (Moscow: Christian Book Club, 2016, in Russian); Meta-Ecclesiology, Chronicles on Church Awareness (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015; Ukrainian translation published in 2017); From Antioch to Xi’an: an Evolution of “Nestorianism” (Hong Kong: Chinese Orthodox Press, 2014, in Chinese); Will, Action and Freedom. Christological Controversies in the Seventh Century (Leiden - Boston: Brill, 2008).

Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis

studied Theology in Thessaloniki, and Philosophy in Paris, Sorbonne. He has published extensively in many languages in the areas of the eschatological dimension of Christianity, the dialogue between Orthodoxy and modernity, religious nationalism and fundamentalism, Political theology, contemporary Orthodox and Western theology, issues of renewal and reformation in Eastern Orthodoxy, Ecumenical and Inter-religious dialogue, Religious education, and more. He is serving as the editor of the theological series “Doxa & Praxis: Exploring Orthodox Theology” (WCC Publications), while he is a member of the Board of various theological journals (Political Theology, Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies, Review of Ecumenical Studies, The Wheel). He taught Systematic Theology at the Hellenic Open University, and St Sergius Institute of Orthodox Theology in Paris. He has also been a Research Fellow at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Boston), Princeton Theological Seminary, and Princeton University (New Jersey), DePaul University (Chicago), at the Faculty of Theology of KU Leuven (Belgium), and at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of Münster University (Germany). Dr. Kalaitzidis is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Academy of Religion (EuARe, Bologna), and a Chair (with Prof. Papanikolaou) of the Political Theology group of the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA). For the last twenty-two years Dr. Kalaitzidis has been the Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, a research center in Greece dealing with modern issues for Eastern Orthodoxy. His English publications include among others Orthodoxy and Political Theology (Geneva: WCC Publications, 2012), and Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism: Resources for Theological Education – “That they all may be one” (John 17:21), Regnum Studies in Global Christianity (Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2014), coedited with Thomas FitzGerald, Cyril Hovorun, Aikaterini Pekridou, Nikolaos Asproulis, Dietrich Werner, Guy Liagre.

Dr. Ioannis Kaminis

studied theology at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki. He received his Master’s degree in the program of “Orthodox Theology” from the Hellenic Open University. He then continued his doctoral studies at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski” in Bulgaria. He is currently working as an assistant professor in the department of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Theology of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.”

Prof. Dr. Vasilios N. Makrides

studied theology at the University of Athens (1979–1983) and history and sociology of religions at Harvard University (1984–1986) and the University of Tübingen (1986–1991), from where he obtained his doctorate. He has taught at the University of Thessaly in Greece (1995–1998), and since 1999 he is Professor of Religious Studies (specializing in Orthodox Christianity) at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Erfurt (Germany). Among his research interests: Comparative religious and cultural history and sociology of Orthodox Christianity; religious and cultural relations between Eastern and Western Europe; Orthodox Christianity, modernity, and science; Greek Orthodox diasporic communities. His latest book publications include: Orthodox Christianity and Modern Science: Tensions, Ambiguities, Potential (Science and Orthodox Christianity, 1), Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2019 (co-edited with Gayle E. Woloschak); Coping with Change: Orthodox Christian Dynamics between Tradition, Innovation, and Realpolitik (Erfurter Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des Orthodoxen Christentums, 18), Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020 (co-edited with Sebastian Rimestad); The Pan-Orthodox Council of 2016 – A New Era for the Orthodox Church? Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Erfurter Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des Orthodoxen Christentums, 19), Berlin: Peter Lang, 2021 (co-edited with Sebastian Rimestad).

Dr. Ina Merdjanova

is a senior researcher at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, since 2010, and a former visiting professor at the Center for Trust, Peace, and Social Relation at the University of Coventry (2018-2021). Her research has focused on the intersection of society, religious and cultural pluralism, nationalism, minorities, gender, conflict and peace building, with particular reference to Eastern Europe and Turkey. She has extensive academic experience at various academic and research institutions: Oxford University, New York University, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Edinburgh University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Aleksanteri Institute at Helsinki University, and the Freiburg Center for Advanced Studies, among others. Merdjanova is the author of over fifty academic articles and six books. Her book publications in English include Religion, Nationalism, and Civil Society in Eastern Europe—the Postcommunist Palimpsest (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002); Religion as a Conversation Starter: Interreligious Dialogue for Peacebuilding in the Balkans (with Patrice Brodeur, Continuum, 2009, paperback 2011, subsequently translated and published into Bosnian and Bulgarian); Rediscovering the Umma: Muslims in the Balkans between Nationalism and Transnationalism (Oxford University Press, 2013, paperback 2016, translated and published into Bulgarian in 2017); and a recent edited volume Women and Religiosity in Orthodox Christianity (Fordham University Press, 2021).

Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Moschos

studied Theology at the Department of Theology of Athens University/Greece (BA, 1986) and Byzantine Studies at the University of Munich/Germany (MA, 1994). In 1996 he was promoted to PhD by the Department of Theology of Athens University and in 2007 to Doctor Habilitatus (Post-doctorate degree) in Church History by the Theological Faculty of the University of Rostock/Germany. After having served as religious education teacher in Secondary Education, he became Faculty member (and since 2021 Full Professor) at the Department of Theology of Athens University in Church History. Since 2007 he teaches also as adjunct Professor (Privatdozent) at the Theological Faculty of Rostock University in Germany. He is a member of the International Orthodox Theological Association, of the editorial board of the leading Greek theological journal “Synaxi”, of the Board of directors of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, and since 2018 Director of the Oriental Christianity Research Laboratory (OCREL) at the Department of Theology of Athens University. His research interests cover the interrelation between history of Christianity and broader religious and cultural currents (e.g. asceticism or Greek philosophy) as well as evolving institutions (episcopal office, synodality) and social change within the Christian Church, especially Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, during the Late Antique and medieval period.

Prof. Dr. Athanasios N. Papathanasiou

born in 1959, is a lay Orthodox theologian, having studied Theology as well as Law. He is Associate Professor of Missiology, Intercultural Christian Witness and Dialogue, at the University Faculty Ecclesiastical Academy of Athens, Greece. He also teaches at the post-graduate Program of the Hellenic Open University. He is the editor of the leading Greek theological quarterly “Synaxi”, and member of The European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS). His main research interests are Missiology and Political Theology. He obtained first-hand experience in short term missions in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, and he is a member of the Mission Work and Evangelization Committee of the Orthodox Metropolis of Nigeria.

Dr. Irena Pavlović

born in 1977 in Germany, has studied at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology and Academy of Icon Painting in Belgrade (Serbia). The theme of her PhD was: “Religion, Media and Violence during the post-Yugoslav wars (1991/2–95)”. She is currently working on a Habilitation thesis about the epistemic violence and the representation of religious alterity from the perspective of post-/decolonial Studies. Since 2012 she serves as the scientific assistant and since 2015 as the academic counsel at the Institute for Christian Communication Science of the Philosophical Faculty and the Department of Theology at the Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany). She is one of the experts of Postcolonial Studies and Eastern Christianity in German-speaking context. She has authored numerous articles about the misrepresentation of “Orthodoxy” in Western academia. The topics of her research include: post/decolonial Theology, Public Theology, Gender Studies, Intercultural Theology, Ecumenical Theology and religious communication Studies.

Prof. Dr. Sveto Riboloff

is professor of Greek Patristics at the University of Sofia “St. Clement of Ochrid”. He studied Classical Philology and Theology at the Universities of Sofia and Thessaloniki. In 2010 he defended his doctoral research in Antiochene School at the University of Veliko Tyrnovo “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”. During the last decade he was guest researcher and participant in different programs at the Ostkirchliche Institut Regensburg, Trinity College Dublin, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, International Baptist Theological Seminary Prague and University of California Santa Barbara. He has published 4 books in the field of the Greek Patristics and its reception in the Modern Orthodox Theology. He has published also a number of articles on actual problems of Church and State relationships in the Eastern Europe. Since 2014 he is editor-in-chief of Forum Theologicum Sardicense (academic periodical of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Sofia). Since 2020 he is director of the Center for Advanced Studies of Patristic and Byzantine Legacy of the University of Sofia “St. Clement of Ochrid”.

Dr. Branko Sekulić

obtained his PhD at the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Münich, Germany (2020), where he is a post-doctoral researcher. He is a lecturer at the University Center for Protestant Theology Matthias Flacius Illyricus in Zagreb, and the director of the theological program of the Festival of Alternative and the Left in his native city, Šibenik. Recently he has published Ethnoreligiosity in the Contemporary Societies of Former Yugoslavia: The Veils of Christian Delusion (Fortress Academic, 2022).

Prof. Dr. Atanas Slavov

holds a PhD (Law and Political Theology) from the University of Glasgow and a PhD (Constitutional Law) from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsky (Bulgaria). He is an associate professor of Public Law and Constitutional Government at Sofia University. His research interests cover fields of constitutional law and theory, law and political theology, civic participation and direct democracy, Europeanization of South Eastern European societies. He has been research fellow at the Center for Advanced Study, Sofia. He is Member of the Bulgarian Parliament (since 2021) serving as deputy Chairperson of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, member of the Defense Committee, former member of the Denominations and Human Rights Committee. He is former advisor on constitutional and legislative matters to the Deputy Prime-minister and Minister of Justice (2014–2015) and the Deputy Prime-minister and Minister of the Interior (2016).

Prof. Dr. Lucian Turcescu

is Professor and Graduate Program Director, and past Chair of the Department of Theological Studies, at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He has done research, published, and taught in several areas, including early Christianity, religion and politics, and ecumenism. Some of his books include (co-edited with L. Stan) Churches, Memory and Justice in Post-communism (2021); Church Reckoning with Communism in Post-1989 Romania (2021); Justice, Memory and Redress in Romania (2017), (co-authored with L. Stan); Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe (2011); Religion and Politics in Post-communist Romania (2007), (co-edited with L. DiTommaso); The Reception and Interpretation of the Bible in Late Antiquity (2008); and single-authored Gregory of Nyssa and the Concept of Divine Persons (2005). He also (co)authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles. Turcescu also served as expert in cases of religious freedom and its limitation in Eastern Europe and has been a member of various evaluation committees of academic integrity of the Ministries of Education in Romania and Canada.

Prof. Dr. Haralambos Ventis

is associate professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Faculty of Theology, Department of Social Theology and Religious Studies, University of Athens. He has studied philosophy and theology (at Deree College in Athens and Holy Cross Seminary in Boston), and holds doctorates from Boston University School of Theology and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Institute of Philosophy. His main interests lie in theology, the philosophy of religion, ethics, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of language. He is the translator of Chrestos Yannaras’ early work Heidegger & the Areopagite: On the Absence and Ignorance of God (Edinburgh: Continuum/T&T Clark, 2005), as well as the author of Eschatology and Otherness (Athens: Polis, 2019; in Greek); The Reductive Veil: Post-Kantian Non-Representationalism versus Apophatic Realism (Katerini: Epektasis Publications, 2005; in English), a study of theological meaning and reference in the wake of philosophy’s “linguistic turn”; and Liberal Democracy and Christian Faith: the Just State as an Ally in the liberation of Orthodoxy from its new “Babylonian Captivity” (Athens: Armos, 2021; in Greek). His most recent publications in English are, “Pacifist Pluralism versus Militant Truth: Christianity at the Service of Revolution in the work of Slavoj Žižek”, in Slavoj Žižek and Christianity, edited by Sotiris Mitralexis and Dionysios Skliris (Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2019); and “Ontology versus Fideism: Christianity’s Accountability to History and Society,” in Between Being and Time: From Ontology to Eschatology, edited by Sotiris Mitralexis and Andrew T. J. Kaethler (London & New York: Lexington Books/ Fortress Academic, 2019). He has also published papers in the Greek journals Synaxi and Theologia.

Georgios Vlantis, MTh

was born in Athens, Greece, in 1980. He studied in Athens and Münich. He holds a Bachelor in Theology and a Masters in Comparative Philosophy of Religion. From 2009 to 2011 he worked as scientific advisor and conference leader at the Orthodox Academy of Crete. From 2011 to 2016 he was assistant of the Chair of Orthodox Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Munich. Since 2012 he is research associate of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies. He has published several articles on issues of philosophy of religion, history of theology and ecumenism in Greek, German, English and Italian, e.g. on apophaticism, patristic considerations of atheism, reception of ecumenical documents, the Holy and Great Council of Orthodoxy, Ukrainian autocephaly, Orthodox fundamentalism, Orthodoxy and modernity. He has also translated books and articles in Greek, German and English. He is active in various ecumenical forums in Germany and beyond. Since May 2016 he is the director (Geschäftsführer) of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Bavaria (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Bayern), Germany.

Dr. Nathaniel Wood

is Associate Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from Fordham University and a Master of Theological Studies from Emory University. He writes mainly on constructive theology from an Orthodox perspective and is especially interested in political theology, Russian religious philosophy, theologies of personhood, and Christology. He has published primarily on Christian, especially Orthodox, engagement with liberal democracy and human rights, and he is a Senior Fellow in the Henry Luce-funded “Orthodoxy and Human Rights” project at Fordham University. He works as managing editor of the Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies and the online editorial forum Public Orthodoxy.

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