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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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4 The Teacher

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MARCUS PLESTED

4    The Teacher

It is a great delight to be asked to offer a tribute to Metropolitan Kallistos as teacher. I am aware of being in an especially fortunate position for this task given that I was catechized by him, attended the various lecture courses he gave at Oxford as both undergraduate and post-graduate student, and wrote my doctoral thesis under his supervision. After that, in my time at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge (2000–13) I had the joy of sitting at his feet for almost innumerable courses and lectures – not to mention many and various other contexts.

One of Metropolitan Kallistos’s favourite quotations from Plato comes from the Theaetetus: ‘The beginning of philosophy is a sense of wonder’; and a sense of wonder is inescapable in anyone who has attended his lectures, talks, or sermons. This sense of wonder certainly has something to do with humour. While never flippant, Metropolitan Kallistos invariably peppers his presentations with a range of hilarious anecdotes. These have great pedagogical value, creating a sense of uplift, refocusing attention, and contributing to the overwhelmingly positive and affirmative character of his discourse. Humour, for the Bishop, has something fundamental to do with human nature (as does, in his estimation, a love of the railways). Having attended very many of the Bishop’s presentations, I often find myself laughing at a joke or anecdote long before the punch line. Perhaps this will...

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