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Message of Fr. Porphyrios Georgi in the Opening Ceremony of the IAODT Symposium

Message of Fr. Porphyrios Georgi

Dean of the St John of Damascus Institute of Theology,

University of Balamand

The Opening Ceremony of the IAODT Symposium,

Balamand 2018


Your Eminence Ephrem, Metropolitan of Tripoli, Koura and Dependencies, representing His Beatitude John X Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

Your Excellency, Mr. Victor Mircea Ambassador of Romania

Your Excellency Mrs. Christina Rafti, Ambassador of Cyprus

Your Excellency, Mr. Constantinos Hadjithomas, Chargé d’Affaires of the embassy of Greece

Rev. Fr. Tanios Khalil Dean of the Faculty of Ecclesiastical Sciences, La Sagesse University

V. Rev. Archimandrite Romanos Al-Hannat Abbot of the Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery

Archimandrite Alexis Chehadeh, Director of the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development

Professor Michel Stavrou, President of the IAODT

Fr. Ioan Tulcan, Vice-President of the IAODT

Reverend Fathers, Distinguished Deans and fellow Colleagues, Beloved Students

The Orthodox University of Balamand rejoices in hosting, within the framework of the celebration of its 30th anniversary, the 6th Symposium of the IAODT. This Association was founded in Arad, Romania, in 2007/ It is an academic fellowship of professors and scholars involved in the study and teaching of Orthodox Dogmatic theology. It aims at promoting research in Dogmatic Theology at the international level in the spirit of the Holy Tradition, as it expresses itself in the Bible, in the Ecumenical Councils, in the writings of the Holy Fathers, and in the Church’s liturgical life. It gathers Professors and specialists from prestigious universities and academic centers in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Lebanon, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, the U.K., and the USA.


The theme of its 6th Symposium, “The Eschatological Vision of Orthodox Theology,” reflects a major objective of the Association in both underlining the lived and practical dimension of Dogmatic Theology, and contributing to the mission of the Church to address contemporary and historical problems. This theme widely opens the horizon for research, thought and discussion.

The eschatological vision of Orthodox theology holds a particularly important position in the dogmatic teaching of the Church, since it is organically linked to Her capital salvific message. This fact makes it obvious that the emphasis of eschatology in Orthodox Tradition, which is encountered in contemporary research, is not a result of the host of studies, which were published during the previous century, as some scholars would argue. This emphasis comes rather of the reality that the eschatological dimension of Orthodox teaching, explicitly expressed in the liturgical life of the Church and in the writings of the Holy fathers, constitutes a basic element of salvation in Christ.

The once achieved redeeming act of our Lord was never understood by the Church as a reality exhausted within a static approach to salvation. In the contrary, it is perceived as dynamism, extended until the end of time, by means of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.

We welcome you all to Balamand, the hill of the Mother of God, crowned by Her Monastery which is the beating heart of the Church of Antioch, and which gives life to all the established institutions: the University and its St John of Damascus Institute of theology, the two high schools and the Media Center.

Your Eminence, Excellencies, Reverend Fathers, and dear colleagues,

We are very honored by your presence.

Thank you very much.

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