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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Studies in Honour of Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

Edited By Andreas Andreopoulos and Graham Speake

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.
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1 The Spiritual Father

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FRANCES JENNINGS

1    The Spiritual Father

I first met Bishop Kallistos nearly eight years ago with my husband Simon, who at that stage was exploring whether he should become Orthodox. To be frank, Simon was half-Orthodox already and had been for some time, but wanted to talk to the Bishop about the possibility of being received. I went along for the ride. Having tried and failed to persuade Simon to join me in the Church of England, I went along very defensively, with my hackles up. I was not happy about Simon’s getting involved with this ethnic bunch of people in a rather strange and, to me, very foreign religion and I listened very, very hard and I asked a lot of questions. I asked stupid questions because I was very ignorant. I asked what the Jesus Prayer was and I was not patronized. I received a straightforward answer, and a helpful little booklet, which made me realize that it was almost exactly the same prayer as my Methodist grandmother had taught me in my childhood. Listening to him, I felt I could discern links between the Orthodox and my position as a life-long High-Church Anglican.

I had no intention of becoming Orthodox myself. I had been Anglican all my life, a child of the vicarage, and never dreamt I would ever leave. It was Fr Andrew Louth who first raised the question of my becoming Orthodox, which I dismissed...

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