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Volos Academy for Theological Studies was informed with deep sorrow on the passing of the Elder Metropolitan of Pergamon and member of the Academy of Athens, John D. Zizioulas.

Metropolitan John of Pergamon was one of the most influential Orthodox theologians of our time, who served theological science from various university positions in Greece and abroad. At the same time, as an eminent Hierarch of the Ecumenical throne, he expressed with deep theological maturity the spirit and ethos of the Church of Constantinople, the First Throne of Orthodoxy, in the context of official dialogues, as well as its concern for the great contemporary problems of humanity and the world.

From the early steps of his academic career, Metropolitan John turned to the study of the ecclesiastical tradition, with the aim of bringing to the fore the timeliness and timelessness of patristic thought as a response to human's contemporary existential impasses. Starting from the theology of personhood, which takes flesh and bones in the Eucharistic synaxis of the ecclesiastical body, Metropolitan of Pergamon insisted on the constant openness of the Church and its theology to the coming Lord from the eschaton, who will judge the truth of being and of history.

His work, which primarily covers issues of Trinitarian theology, ecclesiology and anthropology, as well as issues of dialogue and theological reflection of the Church on the ecological crisis and other contemporary challenges, has long been the subject of extensive study as well as of translation into various languages. For his work, more than a hundred doctoral dissertations have already been conducted in the major universities around world, while studies and books have been written and are constantly being published, which expand, deepen and promote further aspects of his theological thought.

Due to the widespread recognition of the importance of his work, Metropolitan of Pergamon was honored by many universities abroad, while in addition to being a Professor at Universities in United Kingdom, Italy and Greece, he became president of the Academy of Athens, the highest Greek intellectual institution. Additionally in 2011, in the context of an international conference and special event, the Volos Academy for Theological Studies received him as Fellow, recognizing his enormous contribution to the exit of Orthodox theology from the spirit of provincialism and to its creative involvement in the major problems of our time.

His Eminence the Chairman, the Director, and the members of the Board of Directors of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, as well as the entire team of academic associates and its staff, express our deepest condolences to his relatives and pray for his repose in the land of the living.

In the picture, the Director of Volos Academy for Theological Studies, Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis, delivers the eulogy for the deceased Metropolitan of Pergamon in the Cathedral of Athens. Picture by Nikos Kouremenos

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