With over 400 participants, representing 45 countries, the second mega-conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA) was the largest gathering of Orthodox scholars in modern times, surpassing the first mega-conference held in 2019 in Iaşi, Romania. The conference concluded on Sunday, January 15, 2023, in Volos, Greece with a hierarchical liturgy and a pilgrimage to the monasteries of Meteora. The conference was co-hosted by the Metropolis of Demetrias and the Volos Academy for Theological Studies.
Over three days, January 12-14, 350 academic presentations were delivered, dealing with many contemporary and contentious issues facing the world, the Orthodox Church, and Christianity in general. The overall theme of the conference, Mission and the Orthodox Church, was addressed in many sessions, reflecting the broad range of academic disciplines present at the conference.
Special plenary sessions were devoted to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the effects of the pandemic, and a significant document on the social ethos of the Orthodox Church, For the Life of the World. These interdisciplinary discussions were a space for dialogue and encounter in a war-torn world, highlighting the need to deepen Orthodox Christian research and thought on these issues. As one speaker noted, “The Orthodox Church would benefit from the development of a public theology that discusses peace and war within the framework of international law and human rights taking into consideration current challenges to peace.”Continue reading