Category Archives: Miscellany

Holy and Great Council

The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church is in session on Crete from Orthodox Pentecost and the during the following week. Here are some information about the pan-orthodox council:

Official site of the council: https://www.holycouncil.org/

Official versions of preconciliar documents: https://www.holycouncil.org/preconciliar-documents

Message of the council: https://www.holycouncil.org/-/message

Encyclical of the council: https://www.holycouncil.org/-/encyclical-holy-council

Official documents of the council: https://www.holycouncil.org/official-documents

News bulletins from the council: https://www.holycouncil.org/news/bulletins

Videos of the daily press briefings from the council: https://www.holycouncil.org/video

Press office of the council: https://www.orthodoxcouncil.org/

Coverage of the council by The Wheel (including summaries of press briefings): http://www.wheeljournal.com/council/

The preconciliar acts and documents (including the official periodical Synodica): http://www.apostoliki-diakonia.gr/gr_main/dialogos/

Site of the secretariat for the preparation of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church: https://sites.google.com/site/centreorthodoxe/saint-et-grand-concile

 

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Readings for Intellectual Formation

A. G. Sertillanges. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. 1987.

M. J. Adler. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. 1972.

M. Joseph. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric. 2002.

W. Strunk Jr. The Elements of Style: The Original Edition. Reprint 2006.

U. Eco. How to Write a Thesis. 2015.

 

Readings in Academic Theology with an Eastern Orthodox Focus

Introduction to Orthodox Theology

A. Louth. Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology.

E. Theokritoff and M. B. Cunningham, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology.

Church History

R. L. Wilken. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity.

J. M. Hussey. The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire.

H. Chadwick. East and West: The Making of a Rift in the Church from Apostolic Times until the Council of Florence.

S. Runciman. The Great Church in Captivity: A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence.

Th. Bremer. Cross and Kremlin: A Brief History of the Orthodox Church in Russia.

R. Roberson. The Eastern Christian Churches: A Brief Survey. 7th ed.

K. Parry, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity.

K. Parry et al., eds. The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity.

J. A. McGuckin, ed. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Exegetical and Biblical Theology

Th. G. Stylianopoulos. The New Testament: An Orthodox Perspective.

E. J. Pentiuc. The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition.

M. Simonetti. Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church: An Historical Introduction to Patristic Exegesis.

E. W. Klink III and D. R. Lockett. Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice.

W. Zimmerli. Old Testament Theology in Outline.

U. Schnelle. Theology of the New Testament.

X. Léon-Dufour, ed. Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 2nd ed.

R. E. Brown, ed. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. 3d ed.

Th. C. Oden, ed. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. 29 vols.

History of Doctrine and Theology

J. Pelikan. Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition.

J. Pelikan. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600).

J. Pelikan. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700).

A. Di Berardino and B. Studer, eds. History of Theology, Vol. 1: The Patristic Period.

L. D. Davis. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology.

H. R. Drobner. The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction.

J. Quasten. Patrology. 4 vols.

P. K. Chrestou. Greek Orthodox Patrology: An Introduction to the Study of the Church Fathers.

B. Tatakis. Byzantine Philosophy.

B. Tatakis. Christian Philosophy in the Patristic and Byzantine Tradition.

Dogmatic Theology

J. D. Zizioulas. Lectures in Christian Dogmatics.

D. Staniloae. The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. 6 vols.

Spirituality and Christian Ethics

D. Staniloae. Orthodox Spirituality.

A. Louth. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys. 2nd ed.

T. Spidlik. The Spirituality of the Christian East: A Systematic Handbook.

T. Spidlik. Prayer: The Spirituality of the Christian East, Vol. 2.

S. S. Harakas. Living the Faith: The Praxis of Eastern Orthodox Ethics.

Ch. Yannaras. The Freedom of Morality.

Liturgics

P. F. Bradshaw. Early Christian Worship: A Basic Introduction to Ideas and Practice. 2nd ed.

J. Daniélou. The Bible and the Liturgy.

R. F. Taft. The Byzantine Rite: A Short History.

H. Wybrew. The Orthodox Liturgy: The Development of the Eucharistic Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite.

J. Getcha. The Typicon Decoded: An Explanation of Byzantine Liturgical Practice.

E. Wellesz. A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography. 2nd ed.

A. Schmemann. Introduction to Liturgical Theology.

Homiletic

O. C. Edwards, Jr. Elements of Homiletic: A Method for Preparing to Preach.

Pastoral Theology

K. Kern. Orthodox Pastoral Service.

J. Chryssavgis. Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction.

J. K. Kornarakis. Pastoral Psychology and Inner Conflict.

J. Meyendorff. Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective. 3d ed.

Canon Law

P. Rodopoulos. An Overview of Orthodox Canon Law.

L. J. Patsavos. Spiritual Dimensions of the Holy Canons.

W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, eds. The History of Byzantine Canon Law to 1500.

Enthronement of Metropolitan Cleopas

Today Metropolitan Cleopas Strongylis of Sweden and Scandinavia was enthroned in St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Stockholm. Among the guests were Archbishop Leo of Finland and Metropolitan Stefanos of Tallinn. Representatives of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Christian Council of Sweden were present at the enthronement. Sweden’s minister for religious affairs, Stefan Attefall, and the ambassador of Greece were also present.

The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Sweden and Scandinavia was established in 1969 and includes Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. The Greek and Finnish Orthodox Parishes belong to the metropolis. The metropolitan chairs the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Scandinavia which was established in 2011. Metropolitan emeritus Pavlos Menevisoglou has been given the title metropolitan of Amaseia.

Pictures from the event are available here and here.

New Metropolitan of Sweden and Scandinavia

Yesterday, May 21, the metropolitan-elect of Sweden and Scandinavia, Fr. Clopas Strongylis, was ordained a bishop in St. George’s in the Fanar. The newly-ordained Metropolitan Cleopas will celebrate his first hierarchical liturgy on June 1 in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Boston where he will take farewell of his old congregation before moving to Sweden and be installed as metropolitan of Sweden and Scandinavia. His title and name ought to be rendered as follows in Swedish: metropolit Kleopas av Sverige och Skandinavien.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate’s metropolitan of Sweden and Scandinavia is responsible for the Greek Orthodox and Finnish Orthodox parishes in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Island. He also chairs the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Scandinavia and is the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Scandinavia.

A short biography of the new metropolitan is available here.

Pictures from the election are available here.

Pictures from the ordination are available here.

Information about the farewell in Boston is available here.

The speech of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the newly-ordained metropolitan is available here.

New Metropolitan of Sweden and All Scandinavia

Greek church news sites report that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has elected Archimandrite Dr. Cleopas Strongylis from the Metropolis of Boston as new metropolitan of Sweden and all Scandinavia. Metropolitan emeritus Dr. Pavlos Menevisoglou will receive the title metropolitan of Amaseia. A short biography of Archimandrite Dr. Cleopas Strongylis can be found here. I wish all the best to our new metropolitan and our metropolitan emeritus.

See also:

Eastern Orthodoxy in Sweden

The Treaty of Stolbovo (1617)

The early history of Eastern Orthodoxy in Sweden after the Reformation is closely related to the history of Eastern Orthodoxy in Finland. Finland was a part of the Kingdom of Sweden from the thirteenth century until 1809 when it was ceded to the Russian Empire as a result of the Finnish War.

The Treaty of Stolbovo (1617), which ended the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia, is the starting point of the earliest modern history of Eastern Orthodoxy in Sweden. As a result of this treaty Sweden gained new territories with an Eastern Orthodox population (especially East Karelia). The Eastern Orthodox population in these territories was tolerated but discriminated by their new Lutheran rulers who tried to proselytize them. But the Treaty of Stolbovo is also important since it gave Russia the right to establish a merchant house in Stockholm which also included a church for Russian merchants. This church was the first Russian Orthodox parish outside Russia and the first “free church” in Sweden. It is the origin of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Parish in Stockholm.

Religious Tolerance and Religious Freedom

In 1781 King Gustav III decreed religious tolerance for Roman Catholics and Jews residing in Sweden, but Swedish citizens were required by law to be members of the Lutheran Church of Sweden until 1860.  Complete religious freedom was introduced as late as 1951 and the Church of Sweden was not disestablished until 2000. The monarch and the princes and princesses are still required by the constitution to profess Christianity according to the original Augsburg Confession and the decision of the Synod of Uppsala of 1593 or else they forfeit the right to the crown.

From Twentieth Century until Today

Religious freedom is a precondition for the modern existence of the Eastern Orthodoxy in Sweden. The Eastern Orthodox Churches in Sweden today are primarily the result of organized labor immigration from Yugoslavia and Greece in the 1960s and 1970s and the later influx of refugees and immigrants from the 1970s onward (especially from the Middle East today). The Serbian Orthodox Church is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in Sweden. The second largest is the Greek Orthodox Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church is the third largest.

In the beginning of the 1960s before the organization of labor immigration from Yugoslavia and Greece there was only three Eastern Orthodox Churches in Sweden: Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Parish (see above), a Finnish Orthodox parish (created in 1958), and the Estonian  Apostolic Orthodox Church. The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church in Exile was based in Sweden during the Soviet occupation of Estonia (1944-1991). Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Parish placed itself under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe (i.e., the Paris Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) after the Russian Revolution.

Eastern Orthodox Jurisdictions

There are today three Eastern Orthodox eparchies whose hierarchs reside in Sweden. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Sweden and All Scandinavia was created in 1969. The Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Scandinavia and Great Britain was created in 1990. The Romanian Orthodox Eparchy of Northern Europe was created in 2008. In 2010 the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Scandinavia was created in accordance with the Pan-Orthodox decision from Chambésy in 2009. The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Scandinavia is chaired by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Pavlos Menevisoglou.

The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Scandinavia: Bishop Dositej (Serbian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Pavlos (Ecumenical Patriarchate), and Bishop Macarie (Romanian Orthodox Church)

The Eastern Orthodox Churches which are members of the Christian Council of Sweden (Sveriges kristna råd) are the following: the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Finnish Orthodox Church, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church (Paris Exarchate), the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), and the Serbian Orthodox Church. The government has charged the Christian Council of Sweden with organizing the prison chaplaincy.

Registered Eastern Orthodox Churches

The regular Eastern Orthodox Churches are also registered together with the Oriental Orthodox Churches as the Ecumenical Council of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches (Ortodoxa och österländska kyrkors ekumeniska råd) at the Swedish Commission for Government Support to Faith Communities (Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund) in order to facilitate government grants.

The government grants to faith communities depend on the number of persons to whom they minister. The registered Eastern Orthodox Churches in Sweden were given a total of 3 719 000 SEK (approximately 573 200 USD) in various government grants in 2012.  According to the latest official statistics from 2012 the registered Eastern Orthodox Churches ministered to 63 429 persons and the registered Oriental Orthodox Churches (i.e., the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the Syrian Orthodox Church) ministered to 67 334 persons. This may be compared with the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden which ministered to 103 804 persons that year. The actual number of Orthodox Christians in Sweden is, of course, larger since not all of them attend services in the registered churches or practice their religion. The total population of Sweden was 9 555 893 persons at the end of 2012.

The registered Eastern Orthodox Churches reported having a total of 88 695 members in 2013 and the Oriental Orthodox Churches reported having a total of 71 178 members. This may be compared with the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden which reported having 100 522 members that year. The official statistics of the number of persons to whom the faith communities have ministered in 2013 will be released at the end of 2014.

When comparing the numbers of reported members in 2013 with the estimated numbers of people to whom the churches have ministered in 2012, we can note the Oriental Orthodox Christians seem to be more active in their churches than Eastern Orthodox Christians while more people attend Roman Catholic services than are officially members of the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden. The fact that more people attend Roman Catholic services than are officially members of the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden may be explained by the fact that the Swedish government offers faith communities the possibility of collecting membership fees through the tax agency. The Roman Catholic Church opted for this possibility which resulted in a number of members officially leaving the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden in order not to pay church tax while they still may continue to participate in church services. The Roman Catholic Church is also required to keep a more precise membership registry than churches which do not collect membership fees through the tax agency, but many Roman Catholics are not aware of the fact that they ought to formally register themselves as members of their local Roman Catholic parish. Only a few of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches in Sweden have opted for the possibility of collecting membership fees through the tax agency.

Official Statistics of Registered Eastern Orthodox Churches in Sweden 2013

(N.b. government grants to faith communities are not based on their reported number of members, but on the estimated number of persons to whom they have ministered.)

  • The Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Sweden. Members: 3 150. Parishes: 3.
  • The Finnish Orthodox Parish in Sweden. Members 1 500. Parishes: 1.
  • The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Stockholm and All Scandinavia. Members: 20 000. Parishes: 3.
  • The Russian Orthodox Church in Sweden (Paris Exarchate). Members: 6 000. Parishes: 1.
  • The Macedonian Orthodox Church in Sweden. Members: 7 353. Parishes: 2.
  • The Romanian Orthodox Church in Sweden. Members: 10 000. Parishes: 3.
  • The Serbian Orthodox Church in Sweden. Members: 38 518. Parishes: 10.
  • The Swedish Orthodox Decanate under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Members: 2 174. Parishes: 3.

The Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) has not provided any current information to the Swedish Commission for Government Support to Faith Communities.

Registered Eastern Orthodox Churches in Sweden 2014

  • The Bulgarian Orthodox Church
  • The Finnish Orthodox Parish
  • The Greek Orthodox Metropolis
  • The Macedonian Orthodox Church
  • The Romanian Orthodox Church
  • The Russian Orthodox Church (Paris Exarchate)
  • The Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
  • The Antiochian Orthodox Parish
  • The Serbian Orthodox Church
  • The Swedish Orthodox Decanate (under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church)

Selected literature

G. Hallonsten. Östkyrkor i Sverige. Skellefteå: 1992.

Π. Μενεβίσογλου. Ἡ Ἱερὰ Μητρόπολις Σουηδίας καὶ πάσης Σκανδιναβίας 1969-1994. Athens: 1994.

Sveriges kristna råd. Årsbok 2013.

Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund. Årsbok 2013.

Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund. Trossamfund i Sverige 2013.

Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund. Adressförteckning 2014.

Föreningen auktoriserade revisorer. Stiftelser, ideella föreningar och trossamfund: Regelsamling 2014.

Metropolitan Pavlos of Sweden and All Scandinavia

This year is the fortieth anniversary of Metropolitan Dr. Pavlos Menevisoglou (Παῦλος Μενεβίσογλου) of Sweden and All Scandinavia. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Sweden and All Scandinavia was founded on August 12, 1969. Metropolitan Pavlos is a prominent scholar who is specialized in the history of Eastern Orthodox canon law and the history of Holy Myron in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Pavlos of Sweden and All Scandinavia

Metropolitan Pavlos was born in Turkey in 1935. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1956 and graduated from Halki Seminary in 1958. After his graduation he served in the chancery of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until his election as metropolitan. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1970 and elected as metropolitan of Stockholm and All Scandinavia on April 30, 1974. He was ordained to the episcopate on May 12. He arrived in Sweden on July 4 and was installed as metropolitan on July 14.

Metropolitan Pavlos also chairs the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Scandinavia which was founded on January 10, 2010, in accordance with the pan-Orthodox decision from Chambésy in 2009.

Metropolitan Pavlos has been an active scholar and has published nine books and over fifty articles. He holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Thessaloniki. His doctoral dissertation, Τὸ ἅγιον Μύρον ἐν τῇ Ὀρθοδόξῳ Ἀνατολικῇ Ἐκκλησλίᾳ [Holy Myron in the Eastern Orthodox Church] (Thessaloniki: 1972; reprint 1983), is about the use of Holy Myron in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He has also written several articles on Holy Myron and published a second book on the subject: Μελετήματα περὶ ἁγίου Μύρου [Essays on Holy Myron] (Athens: 1999).

Apart from Holy Myron his research has been devoted to the history of Eastern Orthodox canon law. His research has been focused on historical criticism of the sources and collections of Eastern Orthodox canon law. But he has also to a certain degree dealt with textual criticism and theological criticism. His first major book on the history of canon law was Ἱστορικὴ εἰσαγωγὴ εἰς τοὺς κανόνας τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκληεσίας [Historical Introduction to the Canons of the Orthodox Church] (Stockholm: 1991). This handbook must be considered together with Prof. Spyros Troianos’ Οι πηγές του Βυζαντινού Δικαίου [The Sources of Byzantine Law] (3d ed. Athens: 2011) and Ιστορία του Δικάιου [Legal History] (4th ed. Athens: 2010) as required reading for any serious student of the history of Eastern Orthodox canon law. Last year Metropolitan Pavlos also published a concordance to the canons: Λεξικὸν τῶν ἱερῶν κανόνων [Lexicon of the Sacred Canons] (Katerini: 2013). This concordance is an important contribution to future research in Eastern Orthodox canon law.

But Metropolitan Pavlos greatest contribution to the history of Eastern Orthodox canon law has been his studies on the post-Byzantine Greek Orthodox collections of canon law. Apart from some brief studies by Friedrich August Biener, Karl Eduard Zachariä von Lingenthal, and Manuil Gedeon as well as a superficial study on the Pedalion by Ivan Nikolskii in the nineteenth century, this has been a neglected area of study. The research of Metropolitan Pavlos has resulted in four important books: Δύο πολύτιμα χειρόγραφα ἱερῶν κανόνων [Two Important Manuscripts of Sacred Canons] (Katerini: 2006); Αἱ ἐκδόσεις τῶν ἱερῶν κανόνων κατὰ τὸν 16ον καὶ 17ον αἰῶνα (1531-1672) [The Editions of Sacred Canons during the 16th and 17th Centuries (1531-1672)] (Katerini: 2007); Τὸ Πηδάλιον καὶ ἅλλαι ἐκδόσεις τῶν ἱερῶν κανόνων κατὰ τὸν 18ον αἰῶνα [The Rudder and Other Editions of Sacred Canons during the 18th Century] (Katerini: 2008); Τὸ Σύνταγμα Ράλλη καὶ Ποτλῆ καὶ ἅλλαι ἐκδόσεις τῶν ἱερῶν κανόνων κατὰ τὸν 19ον καὶ 20ὸν αἰῶνα [The Collection of Rallis and Potlis and Other Editions of Sacred Canons during the 19th and 20th Centuries] (Katerini: 2009). These studies analyze all the printed post-Byzantine editions and collections of canons as well as the manuscript tradition from which they derive.

Εις πολλά έτη Δέσποτα!

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

OA – Open Access Publication

Open access publication is becoming more important in academia. Many research grants do now require open access from the researchers. Here are some links to sites for open access: