Remembering Fr. John Meyendorff

SVOTS – 24/7/2020

We remember our beloved Protopresbyter John Meyendorff (Feb. 17, 1926–July 22, 1992).

There is so much that could be written about his legacy, but our academic dean, Dr Ionut Alexandru Tudorie—a Church historian like Fr. John—offers a fine summary of Fr. John’s immense contributions:

Father John Meyendorff, former dean (1984-1992) and professor of patristics and Church history at St. Vladimir’s Seminary (1959-1992), one of the greatest Orthodox theologians of the twentieth century, decisively impacted the academic research in his area of expertise. His robust list of publications is a clear witness of an exceptional scholar interested in immersing himself in the Tradition of the Church Fathers. His three major monographs dedicated to St. Gregory Palamas (all of them originally published in French in 1959, but later translated into several languages)—deepening the scholarly research published earlier by Dumitru Stăniloae and Cyprien Kern—contributed greatly to the intellectual and spiritual growth of generations of Orthodox theologians. But Fr. John Meyendorff was not only a gifted scholar and professor, but he was also fully committed to the major project of one Orthodox Church in America that lead eventually in the Spring of 1970 to the Tomos of Autocephaly, granted by the Moscow Patriarchate. He tenaciously followed this dream of Orthodox unity in North America until his death, as witnessed by one of his very last published articles in the St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly (in 1991), in which he advocated for new beginnings in inter-Orthodox relations.

Click here to listen to some of Fr. John’s class lectures on patristics, and see his many books (including A Study of Gregory Palamas and St Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality) and St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly articles at SVSPress.com. The 1991 Quarterly article mentioned by Dr Tudorie has been reprinted in The Time Has Come.

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