This weekend, the Academy in Volos held a conference in honor of Metropolitan John Zizioulas. I went down on Saturday morning with two friends and fellow students here at the Theological School in Thessaloniki.
Above, you can see Metropolitan John to the left listening to Bishop Maxim present his paper on gender and otherness according to his reading of Zizioulas. In the middle of the photo, you can see Prof. Georgios Martzelos, professor of Dogmatics here in Thessaloniki. He and Metropolitan John had an interesting discussion on Saturday about the "monarchia" of the Father within Trinitarian theology. Martzelos argued that some early anaphoras refer the prayer to Christ rather than the Father.
The highlight of the event was Metropolitan John's speech on Saturday evening, which was on the occasion of his being inducted as a Fellow into the Volos Academy for Theological Studies. The Metropolitan spoke for about 40 minutes on the future of Orthodox theology in the 21st century. Briefly put, his message was a call for theologians to formulate a creative and above all positive proposal in order to dialogue with the contemporary world, rather than being satisfied with just offering criticism. Hopefully, this talk will soon be published in Greek and perhaps English.
Interestingly, on Saturday, a group of about 20-30 protesters from Larissa picketed outside the conference center, claiming that "Zizioulas' theology is heretical." They also showed up outside the church where we celebrated the Liturgy on Sunday morning and handed out a newsletter briefly detailing some of their objections. Fortunately, they were peaceful.
A photo from the Liturgy on Sunday morning at the Church of the Ascension in Volos. Concelebrating bishops were Metropolitan Apostolos of Militos (Ecumenical Patriarchate, Abbot of St. Anastasia Monastery in Halkidiki), Bishop Damaskinos of Velestinos, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia, and of course Metropolitan Ignatios of Demetrias (all Church of Greece), Bishop Ignatije of Pozarevac and Branicevo and Bishop Maxim in Western America (both Patriarchate of Serbia).
At the end of the Liturgy, Fr. Stamatis Skliris, the famous iconographer, sits between Metropolitan John and Bishop Maxim.
Afterwards, the parish treated us all to coffee. Above, you can see the Archsecretary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate sitting between Bishop Maxim and Metropolitan Ignatios.
A photo of Fr. Stamatis and me.
For more photos, click here.
I am preparing translations of all of Zizioulas' talks now. Check on this website in the coming days.