Author:
Pantelis Kalaitzidis

Guest lecture analyses Orthodox political theology in the context of neo-imperial illusions and contemporary challenges

On Monday, 15 January, Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis, Orthodox theologian and the Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, will give a public lecture, "Orthodox Political Theology Between Neo-imperial Illusions and Modern Challenges".

Orthodox political theology is usually associated with empires and with the Byzantine idea of "Symphonia". The latter is supposed to be represented in our post-modern, post-secular world by the Russian regime of Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian leaders, who claim to continue the genuine Orthodox tradition.

However, the Orthodox world is also part of our globalized societies and aspires to democratic freedoms, peace, and justice. Faced with the challenges of the modern and post-modern world, the Orthodox do not need a new emperor to solve all  their problems. 

They need more truth, justice, freedom, responsibility, and a public witness faithful to the Gospel. The question is, how to translate their robust theological and ecclesial resources, and especially Trinitarian theology, Christology, and Eucharistic ecclesiology, in a political praxis in the service of the whole community, and especially the needed, the oppressed, and the victims of history.

The lecture starts at 12:15 in room 307 (Ülikooli 18). All are welcome!

Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis studied Theology in Thessaloniki and Philosophy in Paris, Sorbonne. He has published extensively on the eschatological dimension of Christianity, the dialogue between Orthodoxy and modernity, religious nationalism and fundamentalism, Political theology, contemporary Orthodox theology, issues of renewal and reformation in Eastern Orthodoxy, and Ecumenical and Inter-religious dialogue.

He is serving as the editor of the theological series “Doxa & Praxis: Exploring Orthodox Theology” (WCC Publications), while he is a member of the Board of various theological journals (Political Theology, Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies, Review of Ecumenical Studies, The Wheel). He taught Systematic Theology at the Hellenic Open University and St Sergius Institute of Orthodox Theology in Paris. He has also been a Research Fellow at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Boston), Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University (New Jersey), DePaul University (Chicago), at the Faculty of Theology of KU Leuven (Belgium), and at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of Münster University (Germany).

Dr. Kalaitzidis is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Academy of Religion (EuARe, Bologna) and a Chair (with Prof. Papanikolaou) of the Political Theology group of the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA). For the last twenty-four years, Dr. Kalaitzidis has been the Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, a research center in Greece dealing with modern issues for Eastern Orthodoxy.

His publications include Orthodoxy and Political Theology (WCC Publications, 2012), Nel mondo ma non del mondo: sfide e tentazioni della chiesa nel mondo contemporaneo (Qiqajon, 2016), Orthodoxy and Modernity: Introducing a Constructive Encounter (Brill/Schöningh, 2024).

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Pantelis Kalaitzidis
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