The International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA) recently held its annual conference in Volos, Greece on January 12-14, 2023. This “megaconference” featured over 300 presenters and 430 participants from around the world, including from the Orthodox Church in America, as part of a wide array of speakers and topics. Among the speakers at the conference were V. Rev. Dr. Alexander Rentel, V. Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, V. Rev. Dr. John Parker, V. Rev. Dr. Sergius Halvorsen, and Dr. Peter Bouteneff amongst other speakers and participants.
Many hierarchs were in attendance, including His Grace Bishop Gerasim of Fort Worth.
On Thursday, January 12, Father Alexander Rentel, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, chaired the session “The Role of Canon Law in the Life and Mission of the Orthodox Church” and presented “Words of Primacy in the Canons.”
Also on January 12, Father Chad Hatfield, President of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, participated in the “Theological Education in the 21st Century Orthodox Theological Institutions” session.
On January 13, Dr. Peter Bouteneff, Professor of Systematic Theology at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, was a part of the round table discussion of the Science and Orthodoxy around the World project on environment and evolution. The following day, Dr. Bouteneff presented on “Rethinking Ontotheology: Towards a Constructive Dogmatic Theology” in the session “Old Dogmatic Wine in New Hermeneutical Wineskins”.
On Saturday, January 14, Father John Parker, President of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary presented “A Missionary Priest’s Perspective on the Missional Character of the Seminary” in a session entitled “Contemporary Challenges in Seminary Education”.
Also on January 14, Father Sergius Halvorsen, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, presented “An Orthodox Christian Rhetoric of Humility” in the special session sponsored by OTSA, “Academic and Ecclesiastical Freedom: When to Speak the Truth in Love”.
Conference attendees were also invited to participate in two excursions, including a half-day excursion to Makrinitsa for a tour of a Byzantine museum and a full-day pilgrimage to the Meteora monastery.
IOTA is dedicated sharing knowledge within the context of the Orthodox tradition and focuses on organizing international conferences, facilitating group research projects, partnering with people and institutions around the world to contribute to their mission of teaching and transmitting the faith, engaging contemporary culture in light of the Orthodox tradition, contributing to the growth and renewal of the Orthodox Church, and supporting pan-Orthodox unity.