Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

V. Rev. John Meyendorff

Seminary Faculty

When Father John Meyendorff joined our Faculty in 1959 as Professor of Church History and Patristics, he was already widely known and acclaimed as a brilliant scholar and a rising star in the field of Byzantine theology. Born in 1926 in France, he graduated from the Faculty of Letters, University of Paris, and St. Sergius Institute where he immediately began to teach Church History. Member of the research staff of the French National Center of Scientific Research, he collected in a short time an impressive amount of academic diplomas and in 1959 presented at the Sorbonne his doctorate thesis on St. Gregory Palamas. Published the same year together with two volumes of Palamite texts, this book provoked a great interest among theologians and Byzantinists and established Fr. John's reputation as a leading specialist in the history of Orthodox theology and a first-rate scholar. He was invited and joined the scholarly staff of Dumbarton Oaks, the famous center of Byzantine studies in Washington, D.C. and offered many times professorships at leading European and American universities. But the Orthodox theological school has always been the exclusive love and commitment of his life. In 1959 he was ordained priest and came to St. Vladimir's where, in addition to a heavy teaching load, he assumes the functions of Director of Studies for the Theological Division, is the editor of our Quarterly and the chairman of the Library Committee. Active in the Ecumenical Movement, he is a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and attended as delegate the conferences of Amsterdam, Evanston, New Delhi and Montreal. As chairman of "Syndesmos", the international association of Orthodox youth movements, he is one of the main leaders and inspirers of pan-Orthodox missionary work and is a frequent guest in Beirut, Athens, etc. Editor of The Orthodox Church, he has contributed to make it one of the best Orthodox periodicals. His main scholarly works in English are: A Study of Gregory Palamas, 1964; and The Orthodox Church, 1962 (published also in French, Italian, German and Dutch). His latest work just released is Orthodoxy and Catholicity. A few months ago Fr. John was elected to the American Theological Society.

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Newsletter, Volume XI, Number 1, Fall-Winter 1966, p. 6