There are few Orthodox scholars who match the level of respect, the breadth of perspective or the intellectual depth of Romanian priest, scholar and theologian Dumitru Stăniloae. His life stands out because like many Romanian priests and scholars, he was persecuted to the point of imprisonment, intimidation and physical abuse. Yet despite the abuses endured, he was a prolific writer, authoring commentaries, many periodical articles, a highly augmented rendering of the Philokalia in Romanian, and, key to our concerns at present, an Orthodox “dogmatic theology” (Teologia dogmatică ortodoxă).
Fr. Dumitru, though thoroughly Orthodox in his theology and fully patristic in his approach, did not limit the scope of his studies to only Orthodox writers, or only writers from the first seven or eight centuries of the Church. He read Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner and Hans Küng. Likewise he was familiar with earlier “western” saints like Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine and St. Vincent of Lérins, as well as the modern Orthodox thinkers like Lossky, Evdokimov and Yannaris.
What better a starting place, then, for a collection of people seeking points of commonality between eastern and western Christianity than a man who arguably is the preeminent Orthodox scholar of the 20th century? a man who earned the respect of both east and west?
With all of this in mind, let the journey begin.