Call for Papers: Deaconesses, Ordination of Women, and Orthodox Theology

Holy Cross is pleased to announce the call for papers for the upcoming conference "Deaconesses, Ordination of Women and Orthodox Theology".  The conference is being organized by several academic institutions, inlcuding Holy Cross. Below is the official call for papers.

The Center of Ecumenical Missiological and Environmental Studies “Metropolitan Panteleimon Papageorgiou” (CEMES) has launched a one-and a-half year project under the general title: HUMBLE THEOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTION TO OUR ORTHODOX CHURCH ON HER WAY TO THE 2016 PAN-ORTHODOX COUNCIL. The first part of the project is an international ecumenical conference on “DEACONESSES, ORDINATION OF WOMEN AND ORTHODOX THEOLOGY”, which was officially announced on 22 of July 2014, the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. The necessity of this conference was prompted by the very thoughtful intervention by the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, during the last Meeting of the Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches in March, 2014, in which he hinted the importance of a profound analysis of the issue from an Orthodox theological perspective.

The call for papers of this conference, co-organized together with other major Orthodox academic institutions, will be dedicated to an Orthodox scholar pioneer in the field, Prof. Evangelos Theodorou, emeritus professor and former Rector of the University of Athens. The official inaugural part of the conference, honouring Prof. Theodorou, will take place in Athens early in December 2014 to commemorate the 60 years of Orthodox theological investigation on the issue, whereas the main scientific part late in January 2015, and will be hosted by the Church of Cyprus.

The official languages of the conference will be English and Greek, and will take place in both conventional and electronic form. The conference will be open to all interested academics or cleric theologians, and the call for papers until the end of September, 2014. All speakers will be invited to submit a 300 word (max) abstract and a short CV with a photo to the secretariat of CEMES ( to be posted in advance to the website of the conference. The speakers’ papers may be rooted in the areas of biblical, patristic, liturgical or fundamental theology, or other related subject areas. All registered speakers will present a 30 minute final paper (approx 4000-4500 words), which will be followed by a c. 15 minutes of discussion.

The final date and program will be decided by the scientific committee, consisting of academics from all the sponsoring and organizing institutions. It is hoped to be attended worldwide, since for both presenters and attendees of the conference no extra software is needed. All that is needed is registration to the secretariat of CEMES ( All registered participants, speakers and attendees, will be given very simple instructions how to use the electronic platform and enter the plenary or group rooms of the conference. Thus they will be able to present, and listen to or watch presentations from anywhere in the world with just a reliable internet connection and a computer.

The second part of the project is an International post-graduate/post-doctoral Seminar, again in both digital and conventional form (February - June 2015), to be conducted by Profs. Rev. Emmanuel Clapsis of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School, Boston, and George Martzelos and Stylianos Tsompanidis of CEMES and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, on the theme: THE WAY TO THE 2016 PAN-ORTHODOX COUNCIL: PRE-HISTORY, THEMES AND PROCEEDURAL PRINCIPLES TOWARD THE UNITY OF ORTHODOXY.

Finally, the third part of the project is a series of lectures by renowned Orthodox theologians from different ecclesiastical jurisdictions, an International Seminar, again in both digital and conventional form, to be conducted in the premises of CEMES, and a concluding inter-Orthodox Symposium, on ORTHODOXY AND INTER-CHRISTIAN AND INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE: HISTORY, DIFFICULTIES AND PROSPECTS FOR “THE UNION OF ALL”, with the co-operation of ecumenical centers and academies from both Greece and abroad, with the final and concluding symposium scheduled on the week ending on Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 20 of the year 2016.

The scientific results of all three parts of the project will be submitted to the secretariat of the 2016 Pan-Orthodox Council.

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