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Public Lecture

Union with the Unknown: John Meyendorff on the Essence-Energy Distinction

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 7:30PM - 8:45 PM

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Come along for an evening lecture with Dr. Dmytro Bintsarovskyi titled, "Union with the Unknown: John Meyendorff on the Essence-Energy Distinction."

The renaissance of Orthodox theology in the twentieth century was driven by the idea of a return to the fathers in answering the challenges of the modern world. One of the doctrines rediscovered by Orthodox theologians was the distinction between God’s essence and energies, which was occasionally drawn by early fathers, but received its classical formulation in the works of Gregory Palamas. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, this distinction has been emphasized as an indispensable part of the Orthodox faith and a distinctive mark of the Orthodox tradition as compared to Western doctrinal systems. Many Orthodox theologians have believed that only through the recognition of divine energies as distinct from God’s essence one is able to maintain both God’s transcendence and his immanence, to preserve divine and human freedom, and to allow for real participation of human beings in God. This lecture will explore how the essence-energy distinction was expounded by one of its most prominent advocates, John Meyendorff.

Dmytro Bintsarovskyi was born in Ukraine where he earned a degree in computer science and worked as a programmer. Later he switched to theology and graduated from the Evangelical Reformed Seminary of Ukraine and the Theological University in Kampen (the Netherlands). He received Van den Brink Houtman Award for the best master thesis written in 2010 in Dutch theological institutions. Bintsarovskyi has published two books in systematic theology in Russian and is currently finishing his PhD studies at the Theological University in Kampen. In his PhD, he focuses on the relation between God’s hiddenness and revelation in the works of the Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck and the Eastern Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff.

Regent College

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Dmytro Bintsarovskyi

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