Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Studies in Honour of Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

by Andreas Andreopoulos (Volume editor) Graham Speake (Volume editor)
©2016 Others XIV, 264 Pages


Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, formerly Timothy Ware, is unquestionably the best-known Orthodox theologian in the Western world today. The papers collected in this volume are designed to demonstrate the spread of his own interests and concerns and therefore range from the Desert Fathers to modern church dialogue, from patristics to church music, from the Philokalia to human «priesthood». In the course of a long career he has touched the lives of many people and there is a section of tributes concerned with his role as spiritual father, teacher, writer, pastor, theologian, and monk. In the epilogue the Metropolitan himself reflects on his many years as a pilgrim to Mount Athos. Most of the papers included in this volume were delivered at a conference convened by the Friends of Mount Athos at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, in 2015 in honour of Metropolitan Kallistos’s eightieth birthday.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Message from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
  • Address by His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain
  • Introduction
  • Part 1 Tributes to Metropolitan Kallistos
  • 1 The Spiritual Father
  • 2 The Monk
  • 3 The Pastor and Bishop
  • 4 The Teacher
  • 5 The Translator and Writer
  • 6 The Theologian
  • 7 An English Orthodox Bishop?
  • Part 2 Papers in Honour of Metropolitan Kallistos
  • 8 An Early Syriac Exposition of the Holy Mysteries
  • 9 ‘Nothing is Greater than Divine Love’: Evagrios of Pontos, St Maximos the Confessor, and the Philokalia
  • 10 St Symeon the New Theologian and the Studite Monastic Tradition
  • 11 On the Annunciation: Manganeios Prodromos, no. 120
  • 12 Philokalia: A Vocabulary for Our Time
  • 13 The Desert, Hesychia, and Ascesis: Then and Now
  • 14 Patristic Texts as Icons
  • 15 Deification, Hypostatization, and Kenosis
  • 16 Priest of Creation or Cosmic Liturgy?
  • 17 C. S. Lewis and Church Music
  • Epilogue
  • 18 Fifty-Four Years as an Athonite Pilgrim
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index

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Most of the papers included in this volume were first delivered at a symposium which was held by the Friends of Mount Athos in honour of Metropolitan Kallistos’s eightieth birthday at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, in February 2015. A few more papers were specially commissioned after the event. All the contributions are written by former students, colleagues, or friends of the Metropolitan and we are grateful to them all for agreeing to participate in both the conference and the subsequent volume.

The society would like to acknowledge with grateful thanks the generous sponsorship that it received from the Gerald Palmer Eling Trust, the A. G. Leventis Foundation, and the Prince of Wales Foundation in support of the conference. The editors in their turn would like to thank the Friends of Mount Athos for generously contributing towards the cost of publishing the proceedings. They are also grateful to Hadrian Liem for kindly supplying the photograph that was used to illustrate the front cover of the book and to Noel White for giving permission for his drawing of Metropolitan Kallistos to be used as a frontispiece.

It goes without saying that neither the symposium, nor the volume, nor much of what today constitutes Orthodoxy in the West would have been possible without the inspiring presence of His Eminence, our beloved bishop. We are delighted to include his own contribution to the symposium as an epilogue to the book; and we are proud to offer the entire volume to him as a token of our affection and admiration for all that he has achieved in his first eight decades. In the time-honoured phrase, we wish him many years.



Feast of the Transfiguration 2016
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Message from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Friends of Mount Athos Conference in Honour of His Excellency Metropolitan Kallistos, Madingley Hall, 6–8 February 2015

Beloved colleagues, students, and friends of Metropolitan Kallistos,
Esteemed conference speakers and participants,
Dear Friends of Mount Athos,

It is our sincere pleasure and privilege to respond to the gracious invitation of your Chairman, Dr Graham Speake, that we address a brief paternal message to the participants of the residential conference organized in honour of His Excellency Metropolitan Kallistos. We are delighted to do this through our Exarch in Great Britain, His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira.

There is no greater honour for a Church than to pay tribute to one of the most eminent hierarchs and prominent scholars of the Ecumenical Throne, who for many years has served as spiritual father, academic teacher, metropolitan bishop, monk, theologian, and author-translator. We understand that speakers will address the manifold virtues of Metropolitan Kallistos’s life and the diverse aspects of his work: the ‘one face’ and ‘many facets’ of the productivity and legacy of this respected leader of our Church.

Our beloved brother Metropolitan taught numerous students at the University of Oxford for thirty-five years and ministered as a clergyman for over forty-five years. He recently celebrated his eightieth birthday and has variously supported and presided over the Friends of Mount Athos, which is currently celebrating its twenty-fifth year of growth.

One could endlessly describe the contributions of Metropolitan Kallistos to the Orthodox Church in general and the Ecumenical ← xi | xii → Patriarchate in particular. However, we shall confine ourselves to highlighting the fact that one could never calculate the number of people who have embraced or admired the history and teaching of the Orthodox Church through his classic works, The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way. Moreover, one could never imagine the number of people whose lives have been informed and transformed by the translation of the writings on prayer and spirituality, known to us through the Philokalia.

We would like to assure you that, while our numerous commitments regrettably prevent us from attending in person, as we certainly would have liked to, we shall nevertheless be with you in thought and in prayer as you consider and celebrate the acclaimed career and vocation of the recipient of your tribute and homage.

Therefore, υπέρ τούτων και απάντων [for this and for all things], we give thanks to the Lord for the gifts shared with us by His Excellency Metropolitan Kallistos, to whom we pray that God may grant many years ‘rightly to divide the word of His truth’.

Prayerfully yours,

Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch


← xii | xiii →

Address by His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain

It is a great privilege to be present at this conference celebrating the eightieth birthday of my brother bishop, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, and to have had the honour to read the august message that His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has addressed to the gathering.

I think I am right in saying that the first time that I saw Metropolitan Kallistos (or Timothy Ware, as he was then) was with a group of people who had come to visit the church of All Saints in Camden Town where I was then serving as a priest. I got to know him better and appreciate his abilities and talents some time later when I was driving the car in which he and my predecessor of blessed memory, Archbishop Athenagoras, were travelling; and I vividly remember how they were discussing the question of his ordination and how he agreed to become a clergyman of the Orthodox Church and of this Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne. Indeed, it was I who, as a priest, gave him the Canonical Letter of Witness (Symmartyria) prior to his ordination as a deacon in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom (Agia Sophia) in London, which took place almost exactly fifty years ago (on 10 March 1965).

When he was ordained to the priesthood the following year (after having been tonsured as a monk of the monastery of St John the Theologian in Patmos), I remember him assuring me that the community in Oxford was now guaranteed a priest for the next fifty years. For me, this showed not only his humility but also his humour. In that university city he taught both academically and spiritually, putting the Greek Orthodox community on firm foundations and being one of those responsible for the building of the church of the Annunciation of the Mother of God (today shared with our Mother Church’s parish within the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe). ← xiii | xiv →

Although his name is inextricably linked to Oxford, it has become well known throughout the world. It is already engraved in letters of gold on the pages of theological writings and studies, and the internet reveals the titles of his books and the numerous papers, articles, and translations that bear his name. He has glorified the name of the Patriarchate that has honoured him with the episcopate, and he is also a compliment to the nation that gave him birth. As an assistant bishop of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, we always had excellent relations with him and his co-operation has always been beyond reproach.

He has passed the Royal Years and has already lived for ten years those that the Psalmist claims are – even at the best of times – years of toil and trouble, ‘because meekness came upon us, and we shall become disciplined’.1 And yet – even if a little less physically strong than of previous years – he has proved the Psalmist wrong as he continues to teach and instruct, ‘rightly dividing the word of [God’s] truth’, maintaining evangelical humility, and being an example and inspiration to thousands of Orthodox Christians and those who are not, who have delved the depths of the ‘Orthodox Way’ by way of his teaching and academic ability.

In brief, it is right and proper that we should be celebrating this eightieth anniversary of Metropolitan Kallistos’s birth, and at the same time the fiftieth anniversary of his entry into the ranks of the clergy of the Orthodox Christian Church. May Almighty God grant him length of days, good health, and sharpness of mind for many years to come.

1 Psalm 89 (90): 10; NETS translation.

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Most of the papers collected in this volume were delivered at a conference organized by the Friends of Mount Athos to mark the eightieth birthday of their President, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, that took place in Madingley Hall, Cambridge, from 6 to 8 February 2015. It was always the intention of the organizers that the proceedings should be published in the form of a Festschrift.

Another volume was published in the honour of Metropolitan Kallistos in 2003 by St Vladimir’s Seminary Press under the title Abba: The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West. While both books may be thought of as Festschriften in the sense of a scholarly volume that the students and colleagues of the honorand have taken the initiative to compile, there are two differences that encouraged us to contemplate a second book in this tradition, without wishing in any way to discredit the first, especially since several of those who contributed to the first collection have also contributed to the second.

The first difference is that the present volume is a more focused offering, being set firmly within the context of the Friends of Mount Athos. Metropolitan Kallistos is the President of the society, but this means much more than the holding of an administrative office: in many ways he is the human embodiment of the society; when people speak of the Friends, he is the first person who comes to mind; he has been the keynote speaker at every Madingley conference that the society has held (including this one, which was the seventh!); and for many years he has led its annual pilgrimage, to places such as Cappadocia, Russia, Romania, Serbia, and Georgia, opening with his presence many doors that would normally remain closed to the average pilgrim.

The other reason for proceeding with a second Festschrift is that the activity and the impact of Metropolitan Kallistos on the spiritual life of ← 1 | 2 → the UK and of the Orthodox world as a whole are ongoing: one could say that he has become even more important, even more influential, in the last few years, as he has become ever more deeply involved in official and unofficial ecumenical dialogue. We therefore felt that it was more appropriate to think of these celebrations of his continuing guidance and inspiration not so much as full stops, but rather as a series of semicolons: the first shortly after his retirement; the present one after his eightieth birthday; there may yet be a third …


XIV, 264
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2017 (November)
Festschrift for Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia Orthodox Christianity Theology and Spirituality
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2016. XIV, 264 pp., 2 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Andreas Andreopoulos (Volume editor) Graham Speake (Volume editor)

Andreas Andreopoulos is Reader in Orthodox Christianity at the University of Winchester. He has founded and directs the only fully distance Master’s degree in Orthodox Theology. His publications include Gazing on God: Trinity, Church and Salvation in the Orthodox Church (2013); This is My Beloved Son: The Transfiguration of Christ (2012); The Sign of the Cross: The Gesture, the Mystery, the History (2006); Art as Theology: From the Postmodern to the Medieval (2006); and Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theology and Iconography (2005). Graham Speake is founder and Chairman of the Friends of Mount Athos and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His publications include Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise (2nd edition, 2014), for which he was awarded the Criticos Prize, the Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition, 2 vols (2000), and a number of edited volumes on Athonite history and spirituality. He was received into the Orthodox Church on Mount Athos and is a spiritual child of Metropolitan Kallistos.


Title: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
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