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Summary of online lecture

Georgios Vlantis

THE UNITY OF HUMANITY AND THE UNITY OF CHRISTIANS

The fourth series of Volos Academy for Theological Studies online series “Time for action” concluded on Thursday, June 20th, 2024. This final lecture had the title “The Unity of Humanity and the Unity of Christians”, and it was delivered by Georgios Vlantis, MTh, Director of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Bavaria, Germany, Research Associate at Volos Academy and “Archon Hieromnimon” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This lecture was also a part of the series “Liturgy after the Liturgy”, co-sponsored by Volos Academy, the Holy Metropolis of France and the Vicariate of French-Speaking Parishes (Vicariat Sainte Marie de Paris et Saint Alexis d’Ugine, Ecumenical Patriarchate). The lecture was moderated by Protopresbyter Rev. Serge Sollogoub, head of adult catechism for the Vicariat, and it was dedicated to the memory of the recently deceased (Jun. 2, 2024) Rev. George Tsetsis, Great Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The speaker examined the concepts of the unity of humanity and that of Christians, as well as their interaction. He began by emphasizing that the unity of humanity as a unity of nature is an ontological premise, which is based on fact that man was created as an image of God. Both common nature and personal otherness are divine gifts. “Where differences are not fruitfully experienced, there is no genuine unity. Where otherness is eliminated, there grows the seed of totalitarianism in its various guises.” But unity is not only a premise, it is also something to be achieved, as it becomes clear by the conflicts that plague humanity. One must approach it not so much as a state, but as a process, as a dynamic reality with a positive content, for the ministry of which certain institutions are necessary. The unity of Christians finds its culmination in the Eucharist. In Orthodox ecclesiology, the ministry of unity is foreseen through specific functions and institutions, but Orthodoxy today seems to be torn apart by nationalisms and a lack of consensus, while serious unresolved issues are related to the rampant activity of fundamentalist circles, which fight Orthodox participation in the dialogue with the heterodox. According to the speaker, the Ecumenical movement constitutes a consistent and systematic effort to fulfill the God given commandment of unity. Concluding, Georgios Vlantis reminded that unity constitutes a proof of the credibility of the Gospel; belief in the eschatological fullness of unity in the Kingdom of God should not be an alibi for inaction, but a motivation for an ever more conscious struggle to overcome the various divisions.

The video recording of the event is available in Greek on the YouTube channel of the Volos Academy (https://youtu.be/IGIKFvlkA1I)

and also in French, on the YouTube channel of the Vicariate (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilD3tAHrF5A).

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TIME FOR ACTION - 4th Season

TIME FOR ACTION - 4th Season

Taking advantage of the possibilities offered by modern communication technology, Volos Academy for Theological Studies organizes for the fourth consecutive Read More
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