Baptist, Orthodox conversations
Baptists theologians and leaders from around the world participated in a joint conversation with Orthodox counterparts at the International Theological Conference at Bucharest University
Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Vice President Otniel Bunaciu, Professor of Theology at Bucharest University, led the colloquium on 26 May, which focused on “The Nature and Dignity of the Human Person.”
Dr. Daniel Barbu, University of Bucharest, began the conference with the presentation “How to Become Human.”
The BWA Commission on Baptist Doctrine and Christian Unity assisted in the planning of the conference, which approximately 60 participants attended. Elizabeth Newman, Chair of the Commission, said, 'The hopes for the meeting were two-fold. Participants wished to initiate a conversation between two traditions within the Christian world that have long been separated both historically and theologically. What areas might we discover in common and how might we understand our differences in more constructive ways?
'We also hoped that this would be the first of ongoing conversations to enrich our witness.'
Orthodox participants and panelists included: Pr. Prof. Dumitru Vanca, University “1 December 1918” Alba Iulia; The Rev. Dr. John Behr (Scotland), Regius Professor of Humanity, University of Aberdeen; Dr. Tamara Grdzelidze (Georgia), Associated Professor in Religious Studies, Ilia State University, Tbilisi; Dr. Brandon Gallaher (England) Senior Lecturer of Systematic and Comparative Theology, University of Exeter; and Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou (USA), Archbishop Demetrios Professor in Orthodox Theology and Culture at Fordham University, Senior Fellow and co-founder, Orthodox Christian Studies.
Baptist presenters and panelists included: The Revd Dr. Paul Fiddes, (England), Professor of Systematic Theology, Oxford University, Fellow British Academy; The Revd Dr. Steve Harmon (USA), Professor of Historical Theology, Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity; Dr. Elizabeth Newman (USA), Professor of Theology, Adjunct (Duke Divinity School); The Revd Dr. Parush Parushev (Bulgaria), Rector of St. Trivelius Institute Sofia; Dr. Valérie Duval-Poujol (France), The Catholic Institute of Paris, and The Revd Tony Peck, (England), General Secretary, European Baptist Federation.