In the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and representatives of almost all Orthodox Churches, the opening of the International Scientific Conference of the Journal “Theologia” of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece was held on Wednesday 11 October 2023.
The Conference on “Orthodox Theology on the way to the ‘immaterial reality’ of late modernity”, which is organiwed on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of this journal, began its work at the Metropolitan Church of Athens, on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 11.
His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece said in his greeting: “I am particularly moved and honoured because, on the occasion of the Conference for the 100th anniversary of the journal ‘Theologia’, we gathered here from all over the world! We met in a church – and this did not happen accidentally. For us Theology is inextricably linked to Worship. A Worship full of symbols, reminiscent of something that goes far, far beyond our perception of things. ”
He added: “Today’s gathering, beyond its eschatological meaning, also involves a deep symbolism, linked to the very content of the Conference:
First, it reminds us the importance of society in the modern world, a world of virtual reality, where almost everything is performed anonymously, impersonally and bodilessly through machines. We gathered here from different places indeed. Yes, technology has made it easier for us to come here. But we used technology as a means, without letting it dictate our purpose in the world. Our purpose was to gather here together. Our purpose was our physical presence. And our personal communication.
This is how the authors, who early warned of the dangers of reckless technological development, envisioned future societies: technology to be at the service of man. And not the man at the service of technology.
Unfortunately, they were not heard. But even if they had been heard, it is not certain that the situation would be any different. Because things had already taken their course. We have been moving further and further away from God. Once humans began to interpret the mysteries of the universe, they believed that they could reach the truth by themselves, through science and research. The time had finally come for humans to creat their own Paradise on earth. They did not wait for the end of their time.”
In conclusion, the Archbishop pointed out: “It is no coincidence that we decided to organise a Conference on such a contemporary issue. We hope that, through this, a wider dialogue will start on the issues of our time. The Church is called, once again, through Theology, to say that the world was created for life and, therefore, it must not to be destroyed. This attitude towards life created civilization. Even in our own fluid and transitional era, I believe that there is still hope. We will be able to give a meaning to a world that does not just seek hope, but dreams of hope even without knowing it. ”
More photos: EUROKINISSI