April 16, 2014

ACTON – SVS Poverty Conference Sure to Spark Some Fireworks

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St. Vladimir's Conference on Poverty, May 31-June 1, 2013 Get details | Download flyer (pdf) As iron sharpens iron, says the book of Proverbs, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Remember that advice as the conference on poverty begins on May 31, 2013 at St. Vladimir's Seminary. The conference is led by the Acton Institute, arguably one of the most influential think tanks on religion and economics in the English speaking world. The conference is sponsored by the Zarras Foundation in honor of the late Dn. John Zarras, a devoted churchman, successful businessman, and member of the St. Vladimir's Board of Trustees. Speakers at the conference include Jay Richards, author of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute; Michael Matheson Miller, Acton Institute Research Fellow; and a Trustee of the Seminary, The Rev. Dr. Philip LeMasters, professor of Religion and Dean of the School of Social … [Read more...]

St. Vladimir’s Seminary featured on CNN’s “The Economic Report”

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On Orthodox Christian Theological Education in America

From St. Vladimir's Seminary: Teaching for the Future: Frs John and Chad reflect on a stormy summer Theological reflection and education is essential for the life and future of the Church. Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). The vision of Christ himself, and how we are his body, enables us to pass through the storms of this world and move into the future. Theological education in the US has recently become the subject of controversy, division, and manipulation. However, turbulence can also signify new possibilities and new life. As we learn to discern the times, we must consider: * Diversity in Unity * A Comprehensive Plan * Responsible Stewardship Diversity in Unity One of the glories of Orthodoxy in the western world is the richness of the diversity of its lived expressions. Orthodox Christians live together, work together, and learn to see each other as members of the one Body of Christ in a specific geographical region. … [Read more...]

Some broad reflections on the SVS seminar

First of all, thank you to St. Vladimir Seminary, St. Andrew House, and Orthodox Christian Laity for sponsoring the webcast. Thank you to Ancient Faith Radio, and Executive Producer Dean Calvert and crew for making the webcast possible. I saw perhaps a quarter of it. The first seminars dealt with historical themes, important and interesting (had to concentrate though) but I won't comment on them here. I found the lecture on the "myth of autocephaly" very interesting, particular how the narrative of how autocephaly was obtained shapes contemporary self-understanding in the autocephalous Churches. This deals more with how historical narrative functions in a community, than the veracity of the actual narrative. (Of course, veracity is contentious term since history is, at bottom, narrative. Nevertheless, some history is "truer" than others, witness the attempts by the Marxists and other culture barbarians to rewrite it.) Back to the subject... Dr. Paul Meyendorff, professor of … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy in America — Past, Present and FUTURE

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St. Vladimir’s Summer Conference: The Council and the Tomos

St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary has announced the topic for its summer institute and a very interesting lineup of speakers. The full announcement is available on the OCA site here. HT: orrologion CRESTWOOD, NY [SVS/May 13, 2009] -- Recent exchanges of views about Orthodoxy in America, the role of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the forthcoming pan-Orthodox sessions that will deliberate on the "diaspora," emphasize how vital it is to reflect upon events that shaped the current landscape. As a foundational part of its mission, Saint Vladimir's Seminary is a venue where controversial topics can be discussed openly and freely. The seminary will host a summer conference titled, "The Council and the Tomos: Twentieth-century Landmarks towards a Twenty-first-century Church," June 18-20, 2009. Conference speakers will focus on two watersheds that have shaped the Orthodox Church in America (OCA): the All-Russian Council (Sobor) of 1917-1918, and the Tomos of … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah: Episcopacy, Primacy, and the Mother Churches

In June, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America delivered a talk on "Episcopacy, Primacy, and the Mother Churches: A Monastic Perspective" at the Conference of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary. The audio of the talk is available on Ancient Faith Radio along with the other presentations from the conference. The PDF version of Metropolitan Jonah's presentation is available on the OCA site, where the Church is also archiving his articles and speeches. On the subject of the Mother Churches and the “Diaspora,” Metropolitan Jonah has this to say: ... almost all national Churches have extended their jurisdictions beyond their geographic and political boundaries to the so-called diaspora. But Orthodox Christians who are faithful to the Gospel and the Fathers cannot admit of any such thing as a diaspora of Christians. Only ethnic groups can be dispersed among other ethnic groups. Yet the essential principle of geographic … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah to lead OCA

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The Orthodox Church in America announced that Bishop Jonah of Fort Worth was elected Archbishop of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada today at the 15th All-American Council of the OCA. Ancient Faith Radio has Metropolitan Jonah's address to the council, where he offers insights about the nature of leadership in the Church. "Power corrupts and that power needs to be renounced," he says. Listen here. The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette said the 49-year-old Metropolitan "was chosen after two ballots and a vote by the synod of bishops." The following is the official statement from the OCA: PITTSBURGH, PA -- On Wednesday, November 12, 2008, His Grace, Bishop Jonah of Fort Worth was elected Archbishop of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada at the 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah was born James Paffhausen in Chicago, IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church. … [Read more...]

Fr. Hopko: A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy

Fr. Thomas Hopko, an advisor to AOI, delivered an address in late September for the 40th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Chapel at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, a monastery for women in Ellwood City, Pa. Fr. Tom observes that while a "sprinkling" of Orthodox Christians in academic circles have been known to the wider American public, "hardly any other practicing Orthodox Christian has been publicly recognizable in American society in the past forty years." Among the clergy, the late Archbishop Iakovos is singled out for social witness in the civil rights movement. "Things are not much different today," Fr. Tom says. "But there are some notable exceptions." He opens with a sobering assessment and then explores the accomplishments of the Church in recent decades: A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy -- Reflections on the last 40 Years Membership in the Orthodox churches in North America in the past forty years has radically decreased. There … [Read more...]

Gnostics, Then and Now

The current issue of Christian History & Biography magazine takes a look at Gnosticism, or what editors rightly label, "The Hunger for Secret Knowledge." The issue features an article by Fr. John Behr, dean and professor of patristics at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, which describes how the "Great Church" in the apostolic age was able to discern the truth about the Christian faith despite the best efforts of the Gnostics. Fr. John writes: This [true] faith, according to Irenaeus, is found in the Scriptures and summarized in the Rule of Faith. The proof that this is the true faith is that the "Great Church" could point to a visible succession of teachers, presbyters, and bishops who taught the same things throughout the world: This is the teaching common to all the apostles and the churches founded by them. The leaders of many of these churches had been taught by the apostles themselves, or disciples of the apostles, and they "neither taught nor knew of anything … [Read more...]