His Eminence, Archbishop Alexander of Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese is among the participants representing the Orthodox Church in America at the inaugural conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association [IOTA], which opened in Iasi, Romania on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
The theme—“A Call to Pan-Orthodox Unity”—will be explored in a variety of presentations and papers throughout the conference, which concludes on January 13. His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware] of Diokleia, serves as the conference’s keynote speaker, while 50 sessions will highlight the work of some 300 Church leaders, scholars and professionals representing over 30 countries.
In addition to Archbishop Alexander, presentations will be offered by the OCA’s Dr. Peter Bouteneff, Dr. Frank Cerra, Archpriest Michael Oleksa, Archpriest John Parker, and Prof. Richard Schneider, among others. Also attending are Deacon Nicholas Denysenko; Deacon Pavel Gavrilyuk, IOTA founder and president; and Archpriest Chad Hatfield.
In the past year, IOTA has grown into a network of several hundred well-respected Orthodox Christian leaders from around the world. Besides theologians, IOTA’s membership includes philosophers, historians, social scientists, political scientists, and professionals, and it welcomes scholars and scholar-practitioners from other fields related to the Orthodox Christian studies. IOTA is organized into 25 groups, each representing a different area of study, including both traditional theological disciplines, such as Biblical Studies, Dogmatic Theology, Moral Theology, and Liturgical Studies as well as newer fields, such as Missiology, Orthodoxy and International Relations, Orthodoxy in the Public Square and the Media, Religion and Science. These groups are parts of what one might call an Orthodox Republic of Letters, dedicated to free, honest, and respectful exchange of ideas, helping the Church to come to terms with the challenges of our time.