His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos

Archbishop Stylianos of Australia

Biographical Profile

Archbishop Stylianos was born in Rethymon, Crete, on 29-12-1935.

He studied at the famous Orthodox School of Theology on the isle of Halki, graduating in 1958. The nucleus of this School of Theology of Halki had been the very ancient monastery of the Holy Trinity that was founded, according to tradition, by Patriarch Photios (837-886 AD) and greatly active both before and after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. The monastery had been a centre of letters in the Byzantine period and was rightly characterised as a "stadium of wisdom" both for its large library of manuscripts and the men of great learning associated with it.

After the Ottoman occupation many Patriarchs showed special interest in the monastery particularly in times of adversities and hardships. The idea of converting the ruined and deserted monastery into a centre of letters and studies and establishing the Orthodox School of Theology is due to the energetic Patriarch Germanos IV (1842-1845 and 1852-1853).

His Eminence was ordained Deacon in 1957 and Priest in 1958. He completed postgraduate studies in Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion, in Bonn, West Germany, from 1958 until 1966. In that year he was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Vlatodon in Thessaloniki where the relics of St Gregory the Theologian, St James the Persian and St Modestus, as well as some relics of St Athanasios the Anargyri (Unmercenary Doctors) and St Prokopios are kept.

Archbishop Stylianos became Vice-President and later President of the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies within the monastery, of which he was one of the founding members. He was declared Professor of Theology at Athens University in 1965, lecturing in Systematic Theology at the University of Thessaloniki (1969-1975). In 1970 he was unanimously elected by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Titular Metropolitan of Militoupolis, whilst remaining in the Holy Monastery of Vlatodon, serving as the Exarch (Representative) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in matters concerning Northern Greece and the Holy Mountain.

In 1975 His Eminence was unanimously elected Archbishop of Australia. He often takes part in major Academic conferences, and has repeatedly represented the Ecumenical Patriarch in World Council of Churches General Assemblies.

From the beginning of the Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Roman Catholics, Archbishop Stylianos was head of the Patriarchal Delegation and unanimously elected as the Orthodox Co-chairman. Before the dialogue he served as member of the Patriarchal Delegation in the International Dialogue with the Anglicans, as well as Co-Chairman. He has published widely in Dogmatic and Systematic Theology and, up to now, 16 collections of poetry.

Since 1975, Archbishop Stylianos has taught Orthodox Theology and Spirituality at Sydney University. From 1986 he was Dean of the Theological college of Saint Andrew, established during his time, in which he lectures in the Systematic Theology. Apart from other honorary distinctions, he has been honoured with the International Award Gottfried von Herder (1973), as well as the Award for Poetry from the Academy of Athens (1980) and an Honorary Doctorate from the Lublin University, Poland (1985).

More information from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
Encyclicals and other articles by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos.

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