Press release II

The Transfiguration, however, as the Greek Fathers have always understood it, is not simply the outcome of the life of Jesus, his passion and resurrection, his self-effacement and glory; the Transfiguration represents the truth of the daily life of Jesus, the life of Jesus as filial life, a life lived in the spirit of giving, of serving others, of loving unto death. This life, lived in charity showing the splendour of the glory of God, is revealed transfigured in the eyes of the disciples. It is not by chance that the Greek Fathers, from John Chrysostom to Gregory Palamas, have always seen this event as a transfiguration of the point of view of the three witnesses.

This is why the Transfiguration represents a central event in the Christian message. Since the first millennium, Churches felt the need to celebrate it, to render it eloquent in the dynamics of the spiritual life. The earliest evidence of a liturgical feast of the Transfiguration comes from Jerusalem (5th century): the feast was introduced in the festal calendar of Constantinople at the end of the 7th century, perhaps thanks to Andrew of Crete, and was introduced in the West by Peter the Venerable (d. 1156), abbot of Cluny. (Fotios Ioannidis, The Transfiguration of Christ in Peter the Venerable). The second part of the first day of the Conference is dedicated to the liturgical, homiletic and hymnological dimension, with a survey of Byzantine tradition (Kostantinos Karaisaridis, The Transfiguration of Christ in Byzantine Liturgy and Hymnography; Michel Van Parys, From Horeb to Thabor: the Transfigured Chirst in Byzantine Homiletics) and of Slavonic and Russian tradition (Aleksander Sorokin, The Interpretation of the Transfiguration in Russian Exegetical and Homiletical Tradition).