Hierarchs Tikhon and Joseph Honored at 2015 Meyendorff Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

Hierarchs Tikhon and Joseph Honored at 2015 Meyendorff Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

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Hierarchs Tikhon and Joseph Honored at 2015 Meyendorff Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

[SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY] Professor Predrag Matejic, curator of the Hilandar Research Library and director of the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, presented the third annual Father John Meyendorff Memorial Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on Monday, September 14, 2015.

“Father John was known as an outstanding and warm scholar, encouraging younger scholars in their work and able to answer almost any question—however arcane or obscure,” said St. Vladimir’s Dean, the Very Reverend Dr. John Behr. “As such, it is very fitting that we have the honor this evening of hearing from another scholar, Dr. Predrag Matejic, who also has such a reputation: for encouraging scholars across the world in their study of Slavic Christianity and for being able to answer the most obscure questions pertaining to Byzantino-Slavic Christianity.”

Prior to the beginning of the lecture, the Board of Trustees and Faculty of St. Vladimir’s bestowed a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, on His Beatitude the Most Blessed Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and on His Eminence the Most Reverend Joseph, archbishop of New York and metropolitan of All North America of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese.

“We have the great honor today of being able to bestow the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, not upon one, but two worthy recipients—two leading hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in this country—the President and Vice President of the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir’s Seminary,” continued Father John. “Both hierarchs, although only appointed to their positions in recent years, have distinguished themselves through many years of ministry. Your Beatitude and Your Eminence, you truly honor us today by your presence and acceptance of the degree to be awarded.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 3.46.58 PMIn the citations read aloud by Dr. Peter Bouteneff, professor of Systematic Theology, His Eminence was praised as a “true pastor of pastors” and “a leading voice among the hierarchs,” while His Beatitude was commended for his commitment to securing the future and stability of theological education in North America, with a particular interest in the spiritual formation of clergy.

After receiving the Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, His Eminence expressed his gratitude to the Board of Trustees and Faculty. “St. Vladimir’s has a long history of educating leaders and theologians,” he said. “Many of our hierarchs have come to us with a firm foundation, imparted to them by St. Vladimir’s Seminary. I pledge to do all I can during my tenure to maintain and enhance this relationship.”

In his acceptance speech, His Beatitude remarked, “Our church in North America, as His Eminence so clearly stated, is composed of people from various backgrounds, all of us struggling to be united in Christ. It is at institutions like St. Vladimir’s that that effort—striving for unity in Christ—is actualized.”

Following the bestowal of the honorary doctorates, Dr. Matejic gave his presentation, titled “Byzantium, the Slavs, and the Rise of the Russian Orthodox Church.” Dr. Matejic focused on three historical periods of Slavic Orthodoxy: the conversion of the Slavs and the establishment of the Glagolitic alphabet; the rule and influence of Simeon I the Great of Bulgaria; and the immediate effects of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 on the Russian Orthodox Church.

Dr. Predrag Matejic is the curator of the Hilandar Research Library and the Director of the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies at Ohio State University. This invaluable resource began in the 1960s, when the monks of Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos invited Dr. Matejic’s own father, Father Mateja Matejic, to come to catalogue every treasure in the monastery. It is now the largest collection of medieval Slavic manuscripts on microfilm in the world.

View a photo gallery of the evening at www.svots.edu.


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St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary

St. Vladimir’s embraces the challenge of serving the Church and the needs of Orthodox Christians in the 21st Century. Time brings change but the Truth of the Gospel is eternally unchanging; adjustments must be made to engage a rapidly changing world, but without sacrificing that which is the same yesterday, today, and forever.