Kiev Caves Lavra-Athos-Jerusalem: Unity Through the Ages

80 theologians and academics from 15 countries throughout the world have converged in Kiev today for the opening of the “Kiev Caves Lavra- Athos-Jerusalem: Unity Through the Ages” conference, which is being held today and tomorrow at the Kiev Caves Lavra, reports the International Institute of the Athonite Legacy. In particular, the conference is being attended by representatives from Mt. Athos and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as well as from the UK, USA, Russia, Belarus, Greece, Israel, Austria, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and Georgia.

It is devoted to the 30th anniversary of the revival of monastic life in the Kiev Caves Lavra, the 1,035th anniversary of the birth of the Father of Ancient Russian Monasticism, St. Anthony of the Caves, and the 1,030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’.

The conference was organized by the International Institute of the Athonite Legacy, the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra, the National Kiev Caves Historical-Cultural Reserve, and the Kiev Theological Seminary and Academy.

As Abbot Evlogy of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt. Athos said in his welcoming address, “The Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra is a second Athos and New Gethsemane! The Kiev Caves Lavra, as a center of theological studies, spiritual education, writing, and publishing, has always born the high mission of the spiritual enlightenment of the peoples of Rus’, and has successfully fulfilled it thanks to relations with the most important centers of universal Orthodoxy.”

The forum is intended to facilitate the exchange of experience, systematic and comprehensive discussion, the study and popularization of the heritage of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, and its role and importance in the history and culture of Ukraine and the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe and the Christian East.

The sessions are divided into four sections:

1. Kiev Caves Lavra: History and Ascetics
2. Spiritual-Historical and Cultural Connections with the Holy Land and Mt. Athos
3. Kiev Caves Lavra—Heritage, Literature, and Art
4. Kiev Caves Lavra and Orthodox Monasteries and Monasticism in East-Central Europe

The conference will end with Divine services in honor of St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves on July 22 and 23 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the revival of monastic life in the Caves Lavra and the 1,035th anniversary of the birth of St. Anthony.