John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was born in Australia in 1958. He received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens in 1980, a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Greek Conservatory of Music in 1979 and was awarded a research scholarship to St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in 1982. He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford in 1983. His teaching has covered wide-ranging topics, such as theological, political, and social developments, themes and personalities of the Middle Ages, including cultural and religious relations and tensions between East and West. He was co-founder of St Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney, where he was Sub-Dean and taught Patristics and Church History (1986–95). He was also Lecturer in the Divinity School (1986–90) and the School of Studies in Religion (1990–95) at the University of Sydney. In 1995, he moved to Boston, where he was appointed Professor of Theology at Holy Cross School of Theology and directed the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College until 2002. He established the Environment Office at the same School in 2001. He has also taught as professor of Patristics at the University of Balamand in Lebanon.
In recent years, he has published several books and countless articles in international journals and encyclopedias in the area of religion and ecology, social justice and peace. He currently serves as theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues.
The Way of Awareness and Authenticity in the Church Today
The two sixth-century elders of Gaza, Barsanuphius the Great and John the Prophet, were unequivocally renowned among their own contemporaries and acquired unparalleled reputation through the centuries for their unique leadership and spiritual ministry of discernment. Barsanuphius and John do not simply elaborate on and emphasize the preeminent gift of discernment in their contacts and correspondence; they literally epitomize and exemplify this unique faculty in their experiences and exchanges. How these exceptional elders perceive and practice discernment arguably provides extraordinary insight into the understanding and utterance of what is promulgated as divine will in the life of the church today?