International Orthodox Theological Association:
A Vision for the Future of Worldwide Orthodoxy
What was the purpose of the Jerusalem Symposium?
During the second week of January 2018, IOTA chairs in charge of individual groups – all well-established authorities in their fields – met together for a Symposium in Jerusalem. We gathered in the Holy City because we wished not only to think together, but also to pray, and make a pilgrimage together. The purpose of the Symposium was to start articulating a common vision for IOTA’s future work as well as to discuss our plans for the Inaugural Conference in Romania. As far as the vision is concerned, IOTA needs to live up to its reputation of being the first letter of the word “Jesus” in Greek. In other words, we proceeded with a strong conviction that Christ has to be at the center of what IOTA scholars say and do.
We have also discussed the importance of maintaining balance within the association. Balance in the sense of allowing all respectable and well-grounded views on controversial questions to be discussed in an open manner; and balance also in the sense of the representation of scholars from different cultural contexts reflecting the geography of the world-wide communion of the Orthodox Churches. For example, IOTA’s 150 leaders presently include an approximately equal number of scholars representing Greek, Romanian, and Russian traditions. The third aspect of IOTA’s emerging vision is the need to meet each other in our particularity while striving to develop a common theological language. The Inaugural Conference is poised to accomplish these goals.
For a report about the Jerusalem Symposium by St. Vladimir’s Professor of Theology, Dr. Peter Bouteneff, see here.