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Orthodox priests and theologians gather for a conference in Romania.

Answering the Call

Encountering Orthodoxy

About the Encountering Orthodoxy Initiative

The Encountering Orthodoxy initiative responds to the call of the Second Vatican Council to contribute to the healing of divisions among Christians (Unitatis Redintegratio, 1). Among these divisions, the schism between the Latin West and the Byzantine East has been one of the most enduring and consequential in the history of Christianity.

For this reason, the restoration of communion between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches has been a priority of the pontificates of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. However, this communion cannot be restored until the Eastern Orthodox Churches—counting 250 million adherents worldwide—are united among themselves. We seek to contribute to a strengthening of pan-Orthodox unity via the work of the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA).

The second mega-conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association will take place in Volos, Greece on January 10-15, 2023.  The format of the conference is in-person only.  IOTA's twenty-seven groups invite paper proposals on the topics specified in the Call for Papers.

Volos, Greece

Book cover for Natural Theology in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition

Natural Theology in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition

Natural theology attempts to show that there is a God, and what he is like, on the basis of evidence which both theists and atheists can recognize as obviously true, such as the existence of the universal laws of nature. Many recent Eastern Orthodox thinkers have questioned the cogency and religious value of natural theology. This volume contains essays by David Bradshaw, Richard Cross, Alexey Fokin, Paul Gavrilyuk, Travis Dumsday, Dionysios Skliris, and Richard Swinburne, on the history of natural theology in the Orthodox Church and its contemporary relevance. Natural Theology in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition is:

  • the first book to tell the history of natural theology in the Christian East
  • considers the strength of the arguments for the existence of God
  • assesses contemporary Christian Orthodox reactions to natural theology
  • brings together essays by world-class philosophers and scholars

Book Cover of Pilgrims toward the Kingdom

Pilgrims toward the Kingdom:

The Beginnings of the International Orthodox Theological Association 

The first volume from IOTA Publications commemorates the accomplishments of the organization so far, including the historic 2019 conference in Iaşi, Romania. The book

• Discusses the main issues that the Orthodox Church faces today
• Includes an essay by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) addressing the problem of divisions
• Commemorates IOTA’s 2019 Conference and contains its Historical Program
• Features beautiful illustrations with 166 full-color photographs and images

Contact Information

Interested in learning more? We'd love to hear from you.

Phone: 651-962-5326

Dr. Paul Gavrilyuk: plgavrilyuk@stthomas.edu

Fax: 651-962-5310

Mailing Address

University of St. Thomas: Encountering Orthodoxy Program

Mail #JRC 109

2115 Summit Ave

Saint Paul, MN 55105

Campus Location

Our offices are located on the first floor of the John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.