ORIC Conference 2022 IASI

ORIC Fifth International Theological Conference

In cooperation with the Faculty of Theology in Iasi and the Orthodox Archdioces of Iași



Join our Conference via Zoom 1-4 December

Here is the Zoom link for all the sessions in Sinaxar Hall


Passcode 552853

Here is the Zoom link for all the sessions in Ecclesia Hall.


Meeting ID: 970 3285 9066

Passcode: 432808

Conference Programme

Wednesday, November 30

Arrival at Astoria Hotel str. Lăpușneanu nr. 1, Iași, 700057, România

here is the link to the hotel website:

– and the google maps location:

To get from the airport to the hotel (city centre), you can take bus No 50, a taxi or a ridesharing company.

  • Bus No 50 waits in front of the airport and costs 3 lei (less than 1 euro). The bus ticket can be purchased on the bus by card. You stop is Piața Independenței. You will need to walk 300 meters to arrive at Astoria Hotel. Here is the route:
  • There is a taxi stop right in front of the airport. All the taxis from the airport are safe and should not cost more than 6 euros (30 lei). Most will accept payment by card, but we recommend double-checking with the driver. The travel time from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes.
  • There is also the possibility of using a ridesharing company like Uber or Bolt. For this, you need to have the application on your phone, and you will know the cost of your travel from the beginning, which might be similar to the taxis.

There is a 24-hour restaurant, Mamma Mia, 400 metres from the hotel. They have delicious, inexpensive food. You can have a pizza for around 8 euros, and a meal for 10 euros there. Here is the link:

You can pay by card for the shops, markets and restaurants. But you will need cash to buy a souvenir from the street shops.

The Conferences will take place at the Metropolitan Museum, which is under the Metropolitan Cathedral in the Sinaxar Hall, which is just 10 min walking distance (750 metres) from the hotel: and Ecclesia Hall.

Here is the map of the route:

The meals will be served at Saint Nicholas House of Guests, which is a 3-minute walk (200 meters) from the conference venue:

All our services will take place at the Faculty Chapel, which is a 2-minute walk from the Metropolitan Museum.

Breakfast is served every day at the hotel Astoria from 7.30 am.

Thursday 1 December

“The One Who is Victorious I will Make a Pillar in the Temple of My God” (Revelation 3:12)

Talks at the Metropolitan Museum, Sinaxar Hall and Ecclesia Hall

8.30-8.45 am Prayer

8.45-9.00 am “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars” (Proverbs 9:1): Conference Welcome Speech

9.00-9.10 am Metropolitan Teofan Welcome Speech

9.10-9.20 am Dean of the Faculty Welcome Speech

9.20-10 am Rev. Dr Nikolaos Loudovikos Keynote Speech

Open Human Nature in Saint Symeon the New Theologian and the Hesychastic Tradition, and the Third or Velvet Totalitarianism

10.00-10.10 am Coffee break

1st Session Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Paul Andrei Mucichescu

10.10-10.40 am Bishop Benedict Vesa (online)

The Love of the Neighbour according to Saint Silouan the Athonite and Saint Maria Skobtsova: Two Contemporary Lessons of Monastic Spirituality 

10.40-11.10 am Rev. Dr Nevsky Everett

The Cross and Cross Veneration in Isaac of Nineveh and Dadisho of Qatar

11.10-11.40 am Dr Olga Sevastyanova

Eternal Path of the Saint: Gregory of Nyssa’s Autobiography in the Life of Moses

11.40- 12.10 am Dr Grobnicu Mihai-Iulian

The Prophetical Dimension of Saint Symeon the New Theologian’s Writings

12.10 pm Taking ORIC Group Picture

12.20-1.45 pm Lunch at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

2nd Session: Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Dr. Danuț Jemna

2-2.30 pm Dr Claire Gardom Everett

Clement of Alexandria’s Theological Anthropology and its Implications for Contemporary Spirituality.

2.30-3.00 pm Rev. Dr Basil Gavrilovic

The Body of Christ that Cultivates and Rebirths: The Ecclesiological significance in St. Gregory of Nyssa’s Soteriology (online)

3- 3.30 pm Dr Viorel Coman

The Apophatic Contours of Orthodox Theology: Prolegomena to the Dialogue of the Church with the World

2nd Session Ecclesia Hall

Chair: Dr Eirini Arthemi

2-2.30 pm Dr Gheorghe Mihalache 

Christian Conversion as a Dimension of Repentance in the Vision of Saint John Chrysostom

2.30-3.00 pm Dr Edward Eldon

In Uncertain Times How do the Homilies of Saint Gregory of Nyssa and Saint John Chrysostom Speak to Human Identity in the Beatitudes of Jesus?

3-3.30 pm Prof. Catalin Vatamanu

Symbolic language in the works of John Chrysostom

3.30-3.45 am Coffee break

3.45-5.15 pm Panel Discussion: The Pillars of Patristic Theology

Chair: Dr. Danuț Jemna

5.30-6.45 pm Dinner at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

7 pm Vespers in the Faculty Chapel

Friday 2 December

Church as “the Pillar and Ground of the Truth” (1 Timothy 3:15)

Talks at the Metropolitan Museum, Sinaxar Hall, and Ecclesia Hall

8.45-9.00 am Prayer

1st Session Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Dr Grobnicu Mihai-Iulian

9.00-10.00 am Metropolitan of Zimbabwe Serafim Kykotis

Ecological Metanoia from Our Ecological Sins

10.00-10.15 am Coffee break

2nd Session Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Christos Veskoukis

10.15-10.45 am Dr Danuț Vasile Jemna, Dr Danuț Mănăștireanu

Reimagining Ecumenism for the 21st Century: Stăniloae’s Theology as Source and Inspiration

10.45- 11.15 am Rev. Dr Nathanael Neacșu

The Church of Christ: “The Limits” of the Church or “Open Sobornicity”: An Orthodox Perspective 

11.15-11.45 am Rev. Dr. Dan Sandu

“Papa don’t preach!”: Valorisation and De-valorisation of the Religious Discourse in a Secular World.

2nd Session Ecclesia Hall

Chair: Edward Eldon

10.15-10.45 am Dr Nikolaos Tsirevelos

“You are the salt of the earth” (Μatthew 5:13): Christian Witness, Preaching and Education in the Post-Pandemic Period”  (online)

10.45-11.15 am Dr Lawrence Osborne

A Heart Full of Compassion for all Creatures: Orthodox Spirituality in an Age of Global Warming (online)

11.15-11.45 Dr Nikolaos Asproulis

Eco-dogmatics, Eco-spirituality and the challenge of the climate crisis (online)

12.00-1.30 Lunch pm at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

3rd Session Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Dr Emil Marginean

1.30-2.00 pm Dr Christos Veskoukis

Patristic Therapeutics and Post(modern) Pluralism: Friends or Foes?

2.00-2.30 pm Paul Andrei Mucichescu

Petre Țuțea: Dogma and Knowledge

2.30-3.00 pmRev. Dr Cezar-Paul Hârlăoanu 

The Authority of Scripture in the Writings of Matthew the Poor

3-3.30 pm Dr Eirini Arthemi

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21)

3rd Session Ecclesia Hall

Chair: Viktar Niachayeu

1.30-2.00 pm Dr Barbora Šmejdová

C. S. Lewis’s Theology of Language as an Inspiration for Today (online)

2.00-2.30 pm Rev. Dr Stephen Headley

Two Experiences of Sociability, Christian and Secular (online)

2.30-3.00 pm Dr Dionisios Skliris

The Theory of Labour in Sergei Bulgakov (online)

3.00-3.30 pm Prof Jeffrey J. Niehaus*

The Biblical Covenants: God’s gracious program

3.30-3.45 pm Coffee break

4th Session Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Paul Andrei Mucichescu

3.45-4.15 pm Dr Byron Gaist

Individuation and Salvation in the Era of Social Media

4.15-4.45pm Dr Emil Marginian

Words with Great Power: Towards an Open-Source Methodology in Theology

4th Session Ecclesia Hall

Chair: Dr Danuț Jemna

3.45-4.15 pm Raul-Ovidiu Bodea

The Spirituality of St Maria Skobtsova: Exploring the Tension Between Monastic and Eucharistic Spirituality

4.15-4.45 pm Stefan Zeljkovic (TBC)

Spiritual Еcumenism and the Church as „the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15)

4.50-6.00 pm Panel Discussion: The Pillars of Orthodox Theology Today

Chair: Dr Petre Maican

6.10 pm Dinner at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

Saturday 3 December

The Challenges of Contemporary Theology

Talks at the Metropolitan Museum, Sinaxar Hall

8.45-9.00 am Prayer

1st Session Sinaxar Hall

Chair: Raul-Ovidiu Bodea

9.00-9.30 am Viktar Niachayeu

Orthodox Spirituality and its Western Perception Today

9.30-10.00 am Dr Slavisa Kostic

Theo-humanism as a Leading Aspect of Pastoral Activity in the Thought of Fr. Bozidar Mijac

10.00-10.30 am Dr Petre Maican

Is Disability Theology Compatible with Orthodox Theology?

10.30-11.00 am Dr Victor Alexandrov

Historical Approach to Modern Orthodox Theology

1st Session: Hall Ecclesia Hall

Chair: Dr Byron Gaist

9.00-9.30 am Dr Guram Lursmanashvili*

Problems and Challenges of Orthodox Theology in Modern Georgia

9.30-10.00 am Rev. Dr Antoine Melki*

The Influence of References on the Mindset and Production of the Orthodox Theologian

10.00-10.30 am Nelia Titova

The Concept of God in the Teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas and Whitehead’s Philosophy

10.30-10.45 am Coffee break

10.45- 12.00 pm Round Table in Sinaxar Hall

The Challenges of Contemporary Theology Part 1

12.40-1.50 pm Lunch at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

2-6 pm Iasi Guided Tour around the city that will include visits of Iasi’s main attractions

6 pm Dinner at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

7 pm Vespers in the Faculty Chapel

Sunday 4 December

9 am Liturgy in the Faculty Chapel

12-1 pm Lunch at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

Meeting at the Metropolitan Museum, Sinaxar Hall

1.30-3.30 pm Round table

The Challenges of Contemporary Theology Part 2

followed by the ORIC Group meeting

6 pm Dinner at Saint Nicholas House of Guests

Monday 5 December


The Iași Conference Team

Should you need any assistance or have questions during the conference please contact our conference coordinator

Dr Eirini Arthemi +306972057346 eartemi@theol.uoa.gr

Regarding accommodation, conference premisses, devices and food please contact

Dr Bogdan Brinza +40754841610 bogdan_vlad90@yahoo.com

For technical support please contact

Dr Emil Marginean +40747113989 emarginean@gmail.com

Regarding the second panel and the Round table please contact

Dr Petre Maican petre.maican@gmail.com

Regarding the panel on Thursday and the City tour on Saturday please contact

Dr Danut Jemna +40740825244 vasilecm@gmail.com

Regarding our group meeting on Sunday

Dr Olga Sevastyanova +447884971624 connect@orthodoxresearchgroup.com

We look forward to seeing you in Iasi,

The Iași Conference Team

There are no conference fees for the members of ORIC. The non-member applicants will be asked for a small donation. Please check here for the suggested amount.

During our meeting, we will explore the pillars of Orthodox Spirituality taken both in the sense of Galatians 2:9, i.e. the Fathers of the Church, theologians, ascetics, especially the Cappadocian Fathers, St. Maximus, St. Symeon the New Theologian, Palamas or any other personalities made “pillars in the Temple of God” (Rev. 3:12)

We will also discuss the “Church as the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15) and the Holy Scriptures.

The pillar of cloud and fire represents divine guidance and presence to his people in Exodus 13;21-22, 40:36, Numbers 9:17; 14;14 etc. Thus, we will additionally have papers on the challenges contemporary Theology is facing and the way out of them.

What is the place of Theology in the world and in the lives of contemporary people?

Do the words the theologians pronounce change how people think and what they put their trust in? Do they reconcile?

What message do we give to the world as theologians if we fail to transmit the word of God in a way that would make its salvific force evident?

During the last several decades, we have experienced a fantastic transformation within our society. Recent technological developments, such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, social networking platforms, robotic process automation, cloud computing, the internet of things, and 3D printing, open unprecedented possibilities to human beings. These tremendous changes have, however, their flip side.

For millions of years, social structures used to shape human beings, moulding them into the exact form of their social existence. It used to be very clear what is expected from a human by society. The recent technological revolution has shaken the former foundations of the world: the former identities, authorities, and hierarchical and social structures of civil societies. Humans were left to their own devices. These rapid changes made the population resemble a jelly with no clear focus for their activities and no sense of direction. One of the problems is that a human being is no longer required by society. Not only one working person can feed 100, but we also no longer genuinely need other people to deal with everyday problems. Humans didn’t even have time to notice that, enhanced by global social networking platforms, they no longer live in the civil societies they used to live in.

As a result, on the one hand, politicians are building walls trying to save their former authority and control in the world that has already been fundamentally reshaped. On the other hand, people feel distressed for a seemingly unknown reason. This makes some eagerly embrace totalitarian regimes hoping to obtain a particular form that would give meaning to their life and a sense of belonging. The others fall into aggression, and everyone shouts through social media, “Look at me, I am here, notice my existence”.

Our role as Orthodox theologians is not only to take a side in the conflict that has suddenly appeared in our sight as the tip of the enormous iceberg. Considering the broader perspective of recent events, we discern a giant underwater lump of the iceberg that remains disregarded. It consists of metaphysical and spiritual matters that it is our duty to address.

In this challenging situation, let’s make Theology the word of salvation, the word that changes the world.

God remains the same when the previous foundations of the world and civil societies collapse.

His Truth remains the same.

Theology remains unshakable.

Like a view from the top of the mountain, it clearly outlines a place we truly belong.

It reminds humans about their true identity.

It remains the place of Light for this world.

The more Light we see, the more hope we provide to those suffering.

I propose to use our next conference, On the Pillars of Orthodox Spirituality, to collect all the salvific energy of the word we can offer to this world.

Let’s regard it as an opportunity to bring together all theological considerations that we consider helpful for humanity to come through the recent crisis of identity.

It would also be helpful to brainstorm what is currently lacking in our transmission of the word of God to sound like a thunderbolt for modern people. We will dedicate one of our roundtables to brainstorming about the place of Theology in the modern world and how we could change it.