The Romanian Institute
of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York


Institutul Roman de Teologie si Spiritualitate Ortodoxa, New York

Romanian Medievalia

Thraco-Dacian and Byzantine Romanity of Eastern Europe and Asia Minor:

Proceedings of sessions organized by the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

at the Annual International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

New York


Romanian Medievalia was established in 2001. It is an academic journal published by The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality at the initiative of Prof. Dr. Theodor Damian and theologian George Alexe and is meant to publish selected papers presented at the sessions sponsored by the Romanian Institute at the Annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/).

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Editorial Board:

Director: Theodor Damian

Editor-in-Chief: George Lazaroiu

Members: George Alexe, Gale Bellas, Nicholas Groves

 

ISSN 1539-5820

 

 


 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XIV-XV   PDF

51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2016

50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2015


Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XII-XIII   PDF

49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2014

48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2013


Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XI   PDF

47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2012


Romanian Medievalia, Vol. X

46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 12-15, 2011

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. VII-VIII-IX   PDF

44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 7-10, 2009

43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 8-11 2008

42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2007

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. V-VI   PDF

41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 4-7, 2006

40th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 5-8, 2005

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. II-III-IV   PDF

39th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 6-9, 2004

38th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 8-11, 2003

37th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2-5, 2002

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. I

36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 3-6, 2001  

 

 

__________________________________________

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XV, 2016   PDF

51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2016


Theodor Damian

Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of

Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York; President of the American Branch

of the Academy of Romanian Scientists

Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poetical Legacy

 

Daniel VanderKolk

St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

Neptic Prayer in Early Medieval Monasticism: The Byzantine Ascetic Theme of Watchfulness

in the Rule of Benedict




Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XIV, 2015   PDF

50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2015

 

Theodor Damian

Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of

Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York; President of the American Branch

of the Academy of Romanian Scientists.

De hominis dignitate in Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poetry

 

Daniel VanderKolk

St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

Nepsis in the Rule of Basil: A Corrective to Proto-Hesychast Scholarship

 

Nathan John Haydon

University of Arkansas

“He who pays attention to them is illumined”: Peter of Damaskos, Repetition, and Lectio Divina


Camelia Suruianu

Independent researcher

Paul Sterian’s ‘War’ with His Own Aestheticism

 




Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XIII, 2014   PDF

49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2014

 

Theodor Damian

Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of

Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York; President of the American Branch

of the Academy of Romanian Scientists

The Art of Communication in Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poetry

 

Andreas Andreopoulos

Reader in Orthodox Christianity at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Winchester, UK

The Liturgical and Biblical Eschatology of St. Maximos the Confessor

 

Alice Isabella Sullivan

PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of the History of Art

Western-Byzantine Hybridity in the Ecclesiastical Architecture of Northern Moldavia

 




Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XII, 2013   PDF

48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2013


Theodor Damian

Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York; President of the American Branch of the Academy of Romanian Scientists

Managing Change in Gregory of Nazianzus's Poetry

 

Clair McPherson

Professor of Ascetical Theology at General Theological Seminary, New York

The Letters of Nilus of Ancyra: A Study in Late Roman Epistolary Style

 

David W. Lovell

Professor in Politics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

An American Faust: Reflections on an Adaptation of Goethe’s “Faust I” by Heinz-Uwe Haus



Alexandru Dan Adam

Doctorate in Systematic Theology from “Aurel Vlaicu” University, Department of Theology, Arad, Romania

Cuvântul şi geneza lumii: implicații hristologice în cosmologie


Abstract: This essay discusses the connection between God the Father and the divine Logos in the framework of the intra-trinitarian relationships and the role of the Logos, son of God, in the creation of the world. The author emphasizes the ontologic distinction between God and His creation, the total dependence of the created order on its Creator, and the creation’s vocation and need to participate in the divine life.

 


Camelia Suruianu

Doctorate in Philology from the State University of Bucharest

Din învǎţǎturile anahoreţilor


Abstract: This article presents and explains a story by theologian, philosopher, and writer Sandu Tudor, a Romanian Orthodox monk, about some aspects, words and deeds of wisdom from the life of sixth century monk Avva Sava, in particular as it relates to his tutorial relationship with his disciple, Alonie. Sandu Tudor’s story was published in the review Gândirea in 1929.

 

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. XI, 2012   PDF

47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2012

 

Theodor Damian

Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York; President of the American Branch of the Academy of Romanian Scientists

Poetry as Witness: Gregory of Nazianzus’s Three Special Vocations: Theology, Mysticism, Poetry

 

Nicholas Groves

Library Director, Joe Buley Library- New Gracanica (Serbian) Metropolitanate, Grayslake, IL

Gregory of Nazianzus and Thomas Merton: Lives of Contemplation and Action


George Lăzăroiu

Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Communication Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

The Language of Gender in the Byzantine World

 

Sofia Bratu

Associate Professor and Dean of the School for Journalism and Communication Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

The Construction of Identity: From the Heraldic Signs to the Advertising Signs

 

Ramona Mihăilă

Associate Professor, Philology Department, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

Medieval Women in Romanian Historical Fiction

 

Alice Isabella Sullivan

PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of the History of Art

Ecclesiastical Art and Architecture at the Crossroads: The Three Hierarchs Church in Iasi

 

Heinz-Uwe Haus

Professor of Theatre at the Department of Theatre of the University of Delaware

Does Wisdom Accompany Suffering? Pain, Frenzy and Their Treatment in Ancient Greek Drama and Performance. Suffer Me That I May Speak – Visitation from Heaven

 

Ioan C. Tesu

Professor of Orthodox Spirituality (Ascetism and Mysticism) at the Department of Orthodox Theology „D. Stăniloae”, „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iassy

Originalitatea Spiritualității Ortodoxe Românești. Reflecții Duhovnicești ale Părintelui Profesor D. Stăniloae

 

Cătălin Vatamanu

Professor of Old Testament at the „Dumitru Stăniloae” Department of Theology, „A.I. Cuza” University, Iassy, Romania

The Light of God in the Hebrew and Christian Tradition

 

Nicolae Iuga

Professor of Philosophy, Department of Humanistic, Political and Administrative Sciences, „Vasile Goldis” University, Arad

Inceputurile Scrisului în Limba Română si Statutul Mănăstirii Peri din Maramures, Sec. al XIV-lea

 

Silviu Constantin Nedelcu

Student in the Philology Department, University of Bucharest

Chartofilaxul: Bibliotecarul în Imperiul Bizantin

 


 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. X, 2011

46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 12-15, 2011



Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

The Poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus: Self Assessment and Moral Formation

Nicholae Groves
Library Director, Joe Buley Library- New Gracanica (Serbian) Metropolitanate, Grayslake, IL

Athonite Monasticism as a Normative Guide in Byzantine Theology and Culture





Romanian Medievalia, Vol. VII-VIII-IX, 2007-2008-2009   PDF

44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 7-10, 2009

43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 8-11, 2008

42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2007

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Thraco-Daco-Roman Distinct Relevance of the Byzantine and Romanian Christianity

 

Abstract: Persecuted and martyrised by the Pagan Emperors of Rome, this Thraco-Roman Christianity of Asia Minor and Europe is relevantly attested not only by the Biblical references of the New Testament, but also by the historical documents in the second and third centuries, before the Thraco Emperor Constantine the Great. Organically connected with the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the spiritual relevance of the Thraco-Roman Christianity was transfigured by the Holy Spirit, being canonically and ethnically inherited by the what we are proudly calling the Eastern Romanity, whose distinct Geto-Dacian spiritual relevance is ecumenically and ethnically represented today by the Byzantine and Romanian Christianity.

Keywords: Eastern Romanity, Thracians, Geto-Dacians, Romanians, spirituality, values

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

The Language of the Christian Mission in the Carpatho-Danubiano-Pontic Space in the First Centuries after Christ 

 

Abstract: The Geto-Dacians were so intensely Christianized that in the IVth century they produced hundreds of martyrs in the persecutions against the Christians; they gave to the Church renowned theologians, such as St. John Cassian, Germanus, Dionysius Exiguus and others;  they were so well organized in dioceses, which, together with their bishops were well known in the ecumenical world of that time, as was the case of bishop Teotim of Tomis, for example. All this proves a solid anchoring of the Christian religion in the conscience, mind and heart of the Romanians’ ancestors; that means that beyond the theological writings produced in Greek and Latin, the Christian mission proper could not have been done but in the language spoken by the local people and not in one strange to their hearts.

Keywords: mission, liturgy, preaching, language, Geto-Dacians, Romanians

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Gregory of Nazianzus: Where Greek Philosophy Meets Christian Poetry. Greek Philosophical Influences in Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poetry

 

Abstract: This paper is generally related to the philosophical aspects of Gregory’s poetry, but it will focus in particular directly on the Greek philosophical influences there. In terms of poetry I will focus my investigation on one poem, On His Tribulations (Sur ses épreuves) rendered in parallel Greek and French versions in Saint Grégoire de Nazianze: Oeuvres Poétiques, Poèmes Personnels, II, 1, 1-11, Edition Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2004.

My focus on Gregory’s poetry is related to the gap that exists in academia between Patristic and Classical studies and the need to bridge it.

Keywords: Platonism, spirituality, mysticism, philosophy, poetry, Christian doctrine

 

 


 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. VI, 2006       PDF

41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 4-7, 2006

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

The Poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus in the Christian Poetical Context of the Fourth Century

 

Abstract: I only intend to make the sitz im leben, in rather general terms, of St. Gregory of Nazianzus’s poetical production, that is, to try to recreate its context by looking in particular at the goal and intention of his poetry and at the heretical teachings that he argued against. Gregory of Nazianzus, with his solid and vast knowledge in dialectic, philosophy, theology and scriptures, with his incomparable eloquence, and his talent as a writer, exercised a great influence on his contemporaries and on generations after him.

Keywords: doctrine, poetry, heresy, spirituality, mission, self-assessment

 

 

Vicki Albu

Researcher in the Graduate Program at The University of Minnesota

Reminiscences of Thraco-Dacian and Romano-Byzantine Culture and Spirituality as Reflected in Romanian Folklore, Popular Traditions, Literature, and Art: Medieval Continuity and Ethnic Unity of Romanian Folklore and Traditions

 

Abstract: I show that many aspects of Romanian folklore and traditions that were handed down through generations have remained largely unchanged since medieval times. The ancient foundations of Romanian folk art and traditions are preserved in a culture transported to America by Romanian immigrants in the early twentieth century. My research centers primarily on the transmission of culture through generations of Romanian women.

Keywords: Thracian, Geto-Dacian, Romanian, culture, emigration, tradition

 

 

Eva Miron

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Romanian-Byzantine Tradition of Church Hospitals in the Middle Age Romania

 

Abstract: For Christians, physical health is a gift from God offered to those who live an authentic Christian life and suffering endured with patience and dignity is considered a way of atonement. The healers were seen as the messengers of divine forgiveness; so it made sense that the first hospitals appeared in churches as well as in monasteries – places where God heals holistically. We have little information about the activity of the church hospitals. Usually there are mentions about them in the documents attesting their construction, destruction or endowment.

Keywords:  health, spirituality, monastery, hospital, healing, divine intervention

 

 

Daniel Theodor Damian

Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Metropolitan College of New York

The Role of Thoughts in the Work of Evagrius Ponticus: Theological and Psychological Considerations

 

Abstract: This paper is intended to cast a new perspective on Evagrius Ponticus’s theology about the role of thoughts in the spiritual welfare of human beings through their reinterpretation and integration with the findings of cognitive psychology/psychotherapy. Evagrius contends that, once the passion has been aroused, the evil thoughts do not appear as an external, but as an inner temptation and somehow become inherent to the soul. Evagrius, in full accordance with the findings of cognitive psychology, outlines the role of thought, as a leading cause in the dynamics of the emotional life.

Keywords: Evagrius, thoughts, spiritualit,y mysticism, psychology, passion

 

 

 

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. V, 2005     PDF

40th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 5-8, 2005

 

 Nicolae Condrea

Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas (Chicago)

The Sin of Acedia in the Ascetic Theology of Evagrius Ponticus

 

Abstract: I introduce a few ideas about acedia, one of the eight passions or thoughts that Evagrius Ponticus, the Greek monk who lived during the 4th century in the Egyptian desert, considered as a complex thought, the point of junction of all the thoughts. This is an introduction to the meanings of this passion in Evagrius’ works.

Keywords: Evagrius, acedia, monasticism, thought, mysticism, passion

 

 

Nicholas Groves

Professor of Theology at St. Savaţs Orthodox Theological Seminary (Chicago)

Waiting at the Cross and the Tomb: The Sorrows of the Theotokos in Orthodox Liturgy

and Culture

 

For no one is the great human sorrow of many actors in the drama, and their sense of loss of the beloved, according to both liturgical texts and popular traditions surrounding them, than for the Theotokos, Christ’s own mother. It was during the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the sorrows of the Theotokos became an important theme in both theology and art. This development occurred almost simultaneously in the Byzantine East and Latin West.

Keywords: Theotokos, cross, sorrow, liturgy, art, theology

 

 

Theodor Damian

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Man’s Deification in the Poetical Vision of Gregory of Nazianzus

 

Abstract: The most powerful reason on which the doctrine of deification is built in Gregory’s poetry is man’s creation in the image of God. It is Imago Dei that holds man into being even though that implies a paradox, that of the spiritualization of dirt which shows a radical change into the nature of the created order. The image of God, according to Gregory, is all that counts in life. Being God’s great creature and image man proceeds from God and returns to God.

Keywords: Gregory of Nazianzus, poetry, mysticism, deification, imago Dei, creation

 

 

Daniela Şovea Falco

Researcher at the Graduate Program at the University of Connecticut

 

Abstract: Captain John Smith was the first Englishman, later to become one of the first American colonists, who lived on Romanian land and looked at it and its people with an understanding and sympathetic eye. He also put his thoughts and memories on paper, thus helping us build an early bridge between two nations who can now look back upon their ancestors and see that we have never been too far from each other. Historic truth is at stake, particularly in his stories about his travels and military exploits in southeast Europe and then his years in the Virginia Colony.

Keywords: Captain John Smith, Romanian, colonists, America, literature, history

 

 

 

 

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. IV, 2004   PDF

39th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 6-9, 2004

 

Nicolae Condrea

Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas (Chicago)

Evagrius Ponticus as a Spiritual Source for Modern Psychology

 

Abstract: I would like to propose some terms from the ascetic works of Evagrius Ponticus as an introduction to a more elaborate study, which will take into consideration the teachings of this monk concerning the psychological problems issued from the ascetic life in the desert.

Keywords: Evagrius, asceticism, mysticism, psychology, spirituality, passions

 

 

Theodor Damian

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Gregory of Nazianzus’ Poetry and His Human Face in It

 

Abstract: In the present paper I do not intend to give an exhaustive analysis of St. Gregory of Nazianzus’ poetry from a certain point of view, such as theological, moral, philosophical or literary. I simply want to present Gregory as a common man, in his very human hypostasis. St. Gregory the Theologian is the one whom we know very well especially from his theological writings. The man Gregory, who reveals himself in poetry in a different way than we are accustomed to think of him, is not known at all or just a little.

Keywords: Gregory of Nazianzus, theology, poetry, self-assessment, spirituality, self-disclosure

 

 

Andreas Andreopoulos

Assistant Professor of Theology and Arts, Concordia University, Canada

The Wondrous Poetry of Symeon the New Theologian

 

Abstract:  Several biographies of Symeon the New Theologian, as well as editions and analyses of his theological writings have appeared the last few years, but his poetry, which represents a huge part of his overall work, remains elusive. Yet, it not only it elucidates his theology in a dramatic way, but it also inaugurates a new way of narration. An analysis of Symeon’s poetry demonstrates that it foreshadows the later literary developments in expression and style, a tradition that continued for at least eight more centuries. This presentation will give special weight to the relationship between Symeon’s poetry and the long and fruitful tradition of Greek folk songs.

Keywords: Symeon the New Theologian, theology, mysticism, poetry, Greek tradition

 

 

Napoleon Savescu

President of Dacia Revival International Society

When No One Read, Who Started to Write?

 

The earliest examples of a written form date back about 7,500 years, to around 5,500 B.C. relating to what today is known as Tartaria Tablets. We can reasonably assume that thinking and speaking go back much farther than this date; but such activities leave no permanent trace and so, we conclude that most of what we humans might have thought and said for most of our collective history has been lost to us in the irretrievable depths of time beyond memory until writing appeared. Our oldest written texts are among our most treasured artifacts, and unlike other remnants of our past, they are still being used today much as they were when they were first created.

Keywords: Thracians, Geto-Dacianas, Tartaria, writing, history, language

 

 

Mihai Vinereanu

Research Fellow in Linguistics, City University of New York

The Place of Thraco-Dacian Language in the Indo-European Family

 

Abstract: The study of the history of Romanian people and Romanian language have never been without some political connotation and this fact seriously hampered the understanding of the data a researcher has in front of him. In this paper, I will discuss some of the most important aspects regarding the characteristics of Thraco-Dacian language in connection with modern Romanian.

Keywords: Thracians, Dacians, language, Indo-European, Romanian, history

 

 

Daniela Anghel

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Burial versus Cremation in the Carpatho-Danubiano-Pontic Area (First Millennium)

 

Abstract: The main purpose of our paper is to archeologically emphasize some religious aspects concerning the burial and cremation in the Carpatho-Danubiano-Pontic area in the first millennium. I underline the historical fact that archeological discoveries are revealing the bi-ritual character of the burial and cremation rituals in the Carpatho-Danubiano-Pontic area. These findings help us to better establish the evolution and manifestation of these funeral rituals over the centuries.

Keywords: Geto-Dacians, archeology, Romania, burial, ritual, Christianity

 

 

Raluca Octav

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Living with Icons: the Meaning of Icons in the Modern World

 

Abstract: Icon (eikon) means Image. We live in a world of icons as remote as the first use of the concept in the first centuries after Christ as since the lost days when the Teacher and His followers made the distance from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. We used to look at Icons to access and reinforce a system of beliefs that were as much a part of our daily lives as family values.

Keywords: Imago Dei, icons, christianity, Christ, art, values




Romanian Medievalia, Vol. III, 2003   PDF    

38th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 8-11, 2003

 

Theodor Damian

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Saint Gregory of Nyssa on the Power of God (Some Theological Aspects)

 

Abstract: In this paper I will try to present some guidelines of St. Gregory of Nyssa's theology on the power of God introducing first, in a few words, his personality, theology, and a general theological background of his time and second, his concept on the power of God in general but also in relation to creation and more particularly to Christ (cross, resurrection) and to the Holy Spirit as an answer to the Arian Eunomius. Also I will speak about the Trinitarian character of the power of God in St. Gregory's thought and about the presence and manifestation of that power in the sacramental life of the Church.

Keywords: Gregory of Nyssa, power of God, trinity, participation, theology, heresy

 

 

Andreas Andreopoulos

Assistant Professor of Theology and Arts, Concordia University, Canada

The Symbol and the Icon in the Patristic Tradition: a Semiotic Comparison

 

Abstract: The icon is a symbol. It is a symbol which, as all symbols in Christian, and especially Orthodox tradition, carries within it a reality of that which it symbolizes. Although it does not share its essence with the prototype, it shares something else, which is almost as important: according to the defenders of the icons, it shares its hypostasis, its personhood, through the depicted saint to the Christian believer.

Keywords: patristics, icon, Orthodoxy, hypostasis, prototype, art

 

 

Pedro F. Campa

Professor of Romance Languages, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Romanian Icons: A Contribution to the History of Balkan Art

 

Abstract: This paper focuses on Romanian icons since they seem to preserve some of the purest traditions of Byzantine art in the Balkans. It is an inescapable fact that Romanian icon painting is influenced by mural painting, and Romanian icons tend to retain a monumental quality. The creativity and innovation that characterizes Romanian mural portraiture could have influenced the conservative continuity of icon painting. Glass icons, aside from being an innovation are, like wood icons, preservers of some Byzantine subject matter that is unknown to the Orthodox world outside Romania. Romanian icons while incorporating some Western tendencies present startling innovations without abandoning Orthodox tradition.

Keywords: Romania, icons, art, Byzantine, glass painting, tradition

 

 

Nicholas Groves

Professor of Theology at St. Sava’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Chicago)

Russian Society and Culture in an Age of Crisis: Elder Nektary and Optina

 

Abstract: This paper examines the life and witness of one of the last Elders or spiritual teachers of Optina, Elder Nektary. Born in 1853, as Russia entered the profound period of internal crisis that led to the 1917 revolution, he died an exile from Optina, closed by the Bolsheviks in 1923. I suggest that the greatest legacy of Optina and of Elders such as Nektary is a teaching about the realities and values of an inner vision that bears fruit in outer witness. Such teaching is not dependent on external circumstances, not even on whether churches or monasteries are open or closed. The Optina Elders challenge us to look within, to the Holy Spirit dwelling in the heart.

Keywords: elder Nektary, Russia, Optina, vision, witness, spirituality

 

 

Sabina Cornelia Ispas

Researcher, Institute of Ethnologic Research, Bucharest, Romania

Healing Practices of Jewish-Christian Origin in the Modern Age: The Romanian Căluş

 

Abstract: I associate the Whitsuntide Căluş and the Transylvanian winer Căluşer to precise events recorded in the Sacred Text and relative to the manifestation of one of the persons of the Trinity –  the Holy Spirit. This event is not a liturgical drama reproducing the episode described in the Acts, but a mystery acted in the period of the fifty days. The thaumaturgical Căluş also rules the relationship between man and woman, not only in terms of conciliation and cooperation, but also in terms of assigning them precise roles, meant for each of them in the act of Salvation.

Keywords: căluş, calus, healing, Romanian, tradition, liturgy, scripture, folklore

 

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

The Biblical Presence of the Thraco-Dacians and Illyrians in the Holy Scripture

 

Abstract: The topic of this paper might be considered at least intriguing if not in someway fascinating. Intriguing because the presence of the Thraco-Dacians and Illyrians in the Holy Scripture could be rather unbelievable and unimaginable for those who do not accept at all the Holy Bible even as an historical source of information. Fascinating, because the true history of mankind could be found only in the Holy Scripture which emphasizes not only the historical relationship among people or nations, but also the divine history of the eternal dialogue between man and God. In this sense, the true history of man is not appearing unilaterally as being monophysite or pantheist but entirely theandric.

Keywords: Thracian, Dacian, Illyrian, Holy Scriptures, history, theandric

 

 

 

 

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. II, 2004    PDF    

37th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2-5, 2002

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

The Enigmantic Image of Saint Peter in the Romanian Folklore



Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to find out some essence of the religious truth confessed and revealed by the unknown mythical image with the assumed name of Saint Peter. We believe that only the nothingness is irretrievable. For this reason, we hope that our paper will theologically contribute to the decrypting of the enigmatic image of Saint Peter in the Romanian folklore, in the light of the Romanian ethnology, philosophy of culture and history of religions.

Keywords: St. Peter, Romanian folklore, myth, theology, tradition, values

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Desert as a Place of the World’s Transformation According to Eastern Asceticism

 

Abstract: This is an essay in which I try to explore the desert as a place of mystical experience. In doing that I will look at it from the perspective of the monastic experience.

The desert will be presented as the way of the impossible, but also as a place of radical transformation of the inner being of man. The connection between desert and detachment, dispassion and empowerment will also be studied.

The conclusion will emphasize the role of the desert in the renewal of man’s connection to God.

Keywords:  desert, mysticism, monasticism, empowerment, transfiguration, spirituality

 

 

Andreas Andreopoulos

Assistant Professor of Theology and Arts, Concordia University, Canada

The Mountain of Ascent and the Icon of the Transfiguration

 

Abstract: The increasing prominence of the mountain in the Transfiguration iconography expresses an increasing distance between the levels that represent heaven and earth, something that can be seen in many other areas of worship, such as sacred architecture and the interpretation of the building of the church as a representation of the universe, the earth being represented by the rectangular part and heaven by the dome.

Keywords:  icon, transfiguration, worship, architecture, spirituality, art

 

 

Raluca Octav

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Face to Face: The Eastern/Western Painting of Icons: Commonalities and Differences

 

Abstract: What in the West would represent Christian imagery reverses in the East into the image of Christianity. The West brings a fully human Christ to men; the East helps men to reach a fully divine Christ. The Western Christian art evolved into an art of the ascent (naturalistic, experience of our early existence), treated as true revelation and fixed into art. The Eastern Christian art has remained an art of the descent, that is, a symbolic art, which embodies otherworldly experiences into real images.

Keywords: icon, art, East/West, theology, symbolism, worship

 

 

Laurentiu Popica

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Markus Bockmuehl’s Exegesis of Judaism and Pauline Christianity; Its Impact on Christian

Spiritual Life Throughout the Ages

 

Abstract: Markus Bockmuehl's exegesis of Judaism and Pauline Christianity balances analysis with synthesis in order to expand biblical understanding. the problem of recognizing influences or traces of the Ancient Near Eastern religious views in the Bible, appears to Bockmuehl in its various shades.

Keywords: Judaism, Christianity, Bible, spirituality, hermeneutics, M. Bockmuehl.

 

 

Nicholas Groves

Professor of Theology at St. Savaţs Orthodox Theological Seminary (Chicago)

Optina Pustyn as a Center of Desert Spirituality in Nineteenth-Century Russia: In Search of

the Prayer of the Heart

 

Abstract: What was an age of the so-called Enlightenment in Western Europe was a time of a very different form of enlightenment in Eastern Europe, of a form of wisdom which challenged the spiritual foundations of western culture. I look at how Optina influenced the larger Russian culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the “Russian religious renaissance” as it has been called. Optina has by no means delivered her last words of wisdom.

Keywords: Desert Fathers, spirituality, enlightenment, Culture, Russian, Optina.

 

 

Mihaela Albu

Associate Professor of Romanian Language and Literature, State University of Craiova, Romania; Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York

Byzantium in the Romanian Theatrical Literature

 

Abstract: I selected to present two writers (and three plays), the two playwrights being very distinct in their style, and in their manner of approaching historical subjects. Valeriu Anania and Marin Sorescu are representative for the modern Romanian drama because their plays speak about two different historical periods using two different points of view about history. The authors took historical facts as pretexts for a modern analysis, a modern point of view about this complex period of world history, “one of the most fascinating in the history”, the Romanian Byzantinism.

Keywords:  byzantine culture, Valeriu Anania, Marin Sorescu, drama, Romanian lliterature, history

 

 

Napoleon Savescu

President of Dacia Revival International Society

A New Approach to the Origin of the Romanian People

 

Abstract: The Carpatho-Danubians, the oldest European people, second only to the Indians, according to Herodotus, could not have disappeared overnight, after a temporary, partial invasion (only 14% of the Dacian territory was occupied by the Roman army). The theory denying the Carpatho-Danubians’ existence before the year 106 AD is simply unacceptable.

Keywords: Dacia, Indo-Europenas, Romans, civilization, history, langage

 

 

Daniela Anghel

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Vlad the Impaler and His Unbelievable Myth as “Dracula”

 

Abstract: The belief in vampires preceded the introduction of Christianity into southern and eastern Europe. It seems to have originated independently as a response to unexplained phenomena common to most cultures. The connection between Vlad the Impaler, Dracula, and the vampire myth is just nonsense. Almost everywhere, vampires have been seen as evil, monstrous creatures. Historical myths show people eager to locate and destroy such creatures by putting a stake through their hearts, decapitating them and filling their mouth with garlic. We can no longer relate to these images and evil conceptions to Vlad the Impaler, even if our hero’s methods of punishment seemed to be far from orthodox.

Keywords: Vlad Dracul, Dracula, history, myth, culture, Romania

 

 

 

 

Romanian Medievalia, Vol. I, 2001        

36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 3-6, 2001

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

A Medieval Enigma: The Daco-Roman Identity of Pseudo-Dionysius The Areopagite

 

Abstract: The debate over the most enduring medieval enigma, since the fifth century down to our times, of the true identity of Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite, has been recently approached by the challenging means of a new theological context and ethnic perspective. As we’ll further see, the results are expected to be more than promising. The mystery of this Dionysian enigma seems to be as much impenetrable as much is the reality that the entire Orthodox, Roman-Catholic and Protestant mystical literature is founded on the Dionysian system.

Keywords: Pseudo-Dionysius, mysticism, Geto-Dacians, theology, orthodoxy, Desert Fathers

 

 

Theodor Damian

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Christian Icon in the Early Middle Ages: Its Spiritual Dimension and Relevance for Our Life Today

 

Abstract: The thesis of the paper relates to the incarnational thinking that the icons reflect, i.e. they are strictly bound to the event of the Lord’s incarnation. There is a complementarity between Incarnation and icons as far as their salvific message is concerned. Before the first iconoclast emperor Leo III the Isaurian, those who had adopted the icon and those who did not adopt it in their spiritual devotion lived together without fighting one another; both attitudes were accepted by the Church.

After a detailed presentation of the main thesis in its few main aspects the paper analyzes the spiritual implications of the veneration of icons and concludes with an application of this veneration to the modern society.

Keywords: icon, Christology, iconoclasm, spirituality, church, salvation

 

 

Lucian Turcescu

Assistant Professor. Department of Religious Studies and Catholic Studies Program, St. Fancis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS, Canada

Did Gregory Palamas Screw Up the Trinitarian Theology?

 

Abstract: During his lifetime and in the 20th century, Palamas was accused of destroying the divine simplicity. People who conceive of God as a monad, rather than as the living God who manifests himself personally, have brought this accusation against Gregory. Nevertheless, in the last three decades this charge seems to have lost ground in favor of another one, namely that he has ruined the Trinitarian theology. In what follows I will analyze this latter accusation as it was formulated by the German Lutheran theologian Dorothea Wendebourg in her 1980 book Geist oder Energie and two years later in another article.

Keywords:  Gregory Palamas, trinity, theology, monasticism, spirituality, doctrine

 

 

Raluca Octav

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Tears on Glass: Spirituality of Heaven and Earth in the Craftsmanship of  an Icon Maker

 

Abstract: Icons and iconography are for the traditional Romanian even of lesser faith, an intrinsic part of every day life. He is used to seeing and respecting the art of the icon not because he has to do so, but because it comes with being born Romanian. He is used to admiring the famous painted walls of the monasteries from Bucovina and visiting all the churches built before the 19th century not because they are places of worship but because they identify with the history of Romania. And yet, what arouses the reverence which the believer, and the non believer alike, experiences when observing an Orthodox icon?

Keywords: icon, spirituality, Romania, monasteries, worship, Bucovina

 

 

Daniela Anghel-Papadatos

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York

Spiritual Emergence of Daco-Roman Society during the IV-XI Centuries

 

Abstract: The history of Romanians covers the long duration between the beginning of the anthropogenesis and the actual Romania. But medieval history is generally regarded as extending from about 300 to 1500 AD. This period was characterized as the period of migration, the period of a successive contact with the migratory populations, the spreading and the adoption of the Christian religion by the Daco-Roman society representing one of the main elements for its continuity and persistence, starting with 1st century, in the ancient space of the North Thracians.

Keywords:  Dacian, Romania, migration, Christianity, Thracians, religion