Halki Summit II

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is hosting the second Halki Summit on “Theology, Ecology, and the Word.” Co-sponsored by Southern New Hampshire University, the summit will be held on the island of Halki from June 8-10, 2015.

Continuing the legacy established by the Ecumenical Patriarchate for over twenty-five years, Halki Summit II follows a series of pioneering ecological initiatives, including eight international symposia (1995-2009) and five summer seminars (1994-1998).

Halki Summit I, “a conversation on environment, ethics and innovation,” was held in June 2012 and featured prominent speakers, such as environmentalists Jane Goodall and Bill McKibben, as well as scientists James Hansen and Amory Lovins.

Halki Summit II will draw distinguished literary and environmental leaders, including Terry Eagleton (literary theorist and critic) and Terry Tempest Williams (poet and author), as well as James Balog (mountaineer and photographer), Raj Patel (author and activist) and Timothy Gorringe (theologian and apiculturist), for an inspiring “conversation on the environment, literature and the arts.”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will open the summit on June 8th, while Metropolitan John [Zizioulas] of Pergamon, the most prominent Orthodox spokesman on the environment, will deliver the keynote address.

Reversing climate change and restoring the depletion of the earth’s resources first and foremost require a change in values and beliefs in order for people to incorporate the ethical and spiritual dimensions of environmental sustainability into their lives and practices. Halki Summit II hopes to contribute toward this sacred vision and goal.

Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate

Russian Orthodox Church representative attends human rights seminar in Hagaberg

A seminar organized by a mixed human rights working group of the Conference of European Church in cooperation with representatives of international organizations in Brussels took place on May 25-29, 2015, in the People’s University in Hagaberg, Sweden.

The forum was attended by over 40 clergy, political and public figures and experts in human rights.

The Fathers of Nicea: Why Should I Care?

Those for whom ancient history is irrelevant and who equate “old” with “out-dated” (or better yet, “medieval” with “barbarically primitive”) will have trouble appreciating the Fathers of the First Council of Nicea, since they met and produced their work well over a thousand years ago, in 325 AD.  How could a creed so old be remotely relevant today?  Accordingly, some churches have produced their own creeds, such as the United Church of Canada, which produced its own creed for alternative use in 1968.  It is a cautionary tale, for it began “Man is not alone; he lives in God’s world” and they soon enough found that political correctness demanded its alteration to “We are not alone; we live in God’s world”.  Among other things, the Fathers of Nicea declared the full divinity of Jesus of Nazareth by saying that He was homoousios with the Father—of the same essence as Him.  Later attempts to create consensus would suggest that maybe it could be said that Jesus was homoiousios with the Father—“of like essence.”  After all, it has been pointed out, it only involves the difference of one letter, and a tiny one at that.  Why fight over a single iota, a single “i”?  Who would care?  Why should any sensible person get worked up over whether the pre-incarnate Word was homoousios with the Father or homoiousios?  The ruckus of Nicea and afterward only went to prove how miserable and contentious those Christians were.

Where does humanistic culture lead?

St. Justin Popovic (April 6, 1894-April 7, 1979) survived two world wars in Serbia, and in this treatise on European culture he discerns the problems with the European worldview that led to such a human disaster, and touches upon the probable future.

Theanthropic culture transfigures man from within, and thereby likewise influences his external condition. It transfigures the soul, and by way of the soul, it transfigures the body. According to this culture, the body is the temple of the soul, and it lives, moves and has its being through the soul. Take away the soul from the body and what will remain other than a stinking corpse? The God-man first of all transfigures the soul, and subsequently also the body. The transfigured soul transfigures the body; it transfigures matter.

Israel: Biblical Libnah Iron Age settlement from Kingdom of Judah "found" in Tel Burna

Israel: Biblical Libnah Iron Age settlement from Kingdom of Judah "found" in Tel Burna
Israel: Biblical Libnah Iron Age settlement from Kingdom of Judah "found" in Tel Burna
Israel: Biblical Libnah Iron Age settlement from Kingdom of Judah "found" in Tel Burna
Israel: Biblical Libnah Iron Age settlement from Kingdom of Judah "found" in Tel Burna

The Kingdom of Judah was a state established in the historical Land of Israel around 930 BC. It was known as the southern kingdom and included cities such as Jerusalem, Hebron, Lachish and Beersheba.

According to biblical accounts, Libnah was one of the places where the Israelites stopped during the Exodus, which subsequently became a town in the Kingdom of Judah.

Metropolitan Amfilohije Doctor HONORIS CAUSA of the Orthodox Spiritual Academy of St. Petersburg

Rector of the Orthodox Spiritual Academy of St. Petersburg Archbishop Ambrosius of Peterhof awarded Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral with a doctor's cross and a diploma of Doctor Honoris Causa of this eminent church and educational institution, at the ceremony in St. Petersburg on 11 February 2015.

The high distinction was given to Metropolitan Amfilohije on 13 June 2014 by the decision of the Scientific Council of the Saint Petersburg Spiritual Academy, and was approved by Metropolitan Varsonufry of St. Petersburg and Ladosh. Many guests of the Academy, representatives of the church, scientific and cultural life of the northern Russian capital, among which was also Archbishop Jovan (Vranisovski) of Ohrid.