Online lecture by Rev. Dr. Brandon Gallaher
The last online event in the series “Time for Action” organized by Volos Academy for Theological Studies will take place on Monday, June 14, at 8 pm Greek time. The speaker will be Rev. Dr. Brandon Gallaher, Senior Lecturer of Systematic and Comparative Theology at the University of Exeter (Devon, UK) and the topic of the lecture will be “Sergius Bulgakov and Georges Florovsky: Two Complementary Voices for Contemporary Orthodox Theology.” The lecture will be in English. It will be delivered through Zoom and the link for attending is https://zoom.us/j/94709675464. Admission is free.
Fr. Sergius Bulgakov (1871-1944), with his Sophiology or theology of Holy Wisdom, and Fr. Georges Florovsky (1893-1979), with his neo-patristic synthesis, are twin colossi in modern Orthodox theology. Each of these men, in their own way, has set out for the Church and academic theology the key themes, seminal thinkers and the future challenge for the 21st century. Contemporary Orthodox theology must be attentive to both these men’s theology and legacy equally. But this evaluation is far from uncontroversial. While Bulgakov’s work has been in general ignored, if not condemned, by Orthodox scholars, this lecture will make the claim that Bulgakov and Florovsky, despite their very real theological differences, actually had complimentary theological projects, that is, they both affirmed common themes: a common emphasis on the imperative of ecumenism and outreach in Christ to the non-Orthodox (Christians); a common creative and forward looking understanding of tradition (‘living tradition’); a reverence for the Fathers, especially St Gregory Palamas, as the well-spring of theological renewal; a vision of theology found at the bottom of a Eucharistic Chalice; and an understanding of creation as (in the words of Fr. Alexander Schmemann) having ‘divine roots’ or, more precisely, creation being the ‘chalice of eternity’.
Rev. Dr. Brandon Gallaher (D.Phil., Theology, University of Oxford) is Senior Lecturer of Systematic and Comparative Theology at the University of Exeter (Devon, UK) and was formerly a postdoctoral and research fellow at the University of Oxford, the University of Notre Dame (IN, USA) and Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan). His publications include Freedom and Necessity in Modern Trinitarian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), The Patristic Witness of Georges Florovsky: Essential Theological Writings (co-edited with Prof. Paul Ladouceur, London: T&T Clark-Bloomsbury, 2019), and The Living Christ: The Theological Legacy of Georges Florovsky (co-edited with Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, London: T&T Clark-Bloomsbury, forthcoming September 2021). He is currently working on a book project on Fr Sergius Bulgakov's ecclesiology, eschatology and ecumenism. He is a deacon of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain and served in June 2016 in Crete at the Eastern Orthodox Holy and Great Council as a Theological Subject Expert in the Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office.