May 4, 2015

The Fathers of the Church and Islam (1 of 5)

The following lecture was delivered on January 30, 2015 for the teachers of the Sacred Metropolis of Nafpaktos, in honor of the Feast of the Three Hierarchs.

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Always on this day we gather in our love for the Fathers of the Church, especially for the Three Hierarchs who played an instrumental role in their era and in the later development of Christianity, as well as for our love of Education, which should prevail in our country.

Moreover it is an opportunity for me to express my love and appreciation to you educators, who transfer knowledge to the children, not only intellectual knowledge, but also cultural and spiritual knowledge, which will play a major role for your students, when they also enter society to play a role.

This year I close in this Sacred Metropolis twenty years of pastoral ministry, and throughout all these years every January on the Feast of the Three Hierarchs, I have developed various themes relating to the Three Hierarchs, always trying to focus on relevant issues. I will remind you of the titles of my lectures to see the rich amount of themes that have been developed over the past twenty years.

1. "Being and Becoming According to Orthodox Tradition" (1996)

2. "Greek Orthodox Education in Contemporary Reality" (1997)

3. "The Western Enlightenment and Eastern Illumination" (1998)

4. "The Interaction Between Politics and Theology in Europe Compared with the Roman Tradition of the Three Hierarchs" (1999)

5. "Time and Eternity" (2000)

6. "The Three Hierarchs and the European Union" (2001)

7. "Globalization, Terrorism and Fundamentalism According to the Spirit of the Teachings and Works of the Three Hierarchs" (2002)

8. "Contemporary Views of Education and the Three Hierarchs" (2003)

9. "The Three Hierarchs and Asceticism" (2004)

10. "Religion and the Church" (2005)

11. "Bioethics and Orthodox Ethics in the "Spirit" of the Teachings of the Three Hierarchs" (2006)

12. "Saint Gregory of Nyssa: A Candidate for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs" (2007)

13. "Loans, Interest and Usury According to the Three Hierarchs" (2008)

14. "Evidentiary and Argumentative Reasoning on the Divine and Human" (2009)

15. "Philanthropy According to the Three Hierarchs" (2010)

16. "The Hunger of the Poor and the Ruthlessness of the Rich According to Basil the Great" (2011)

17. "Authority, Taxes and Troika According to the Three Hierarchs" (2012)

18. "The Fourth Century According to Basil the Great" (2013)

19. "Roman Fathers and Frankish Theologians" (2014)

I always tried to convey some new knowledge to help you see the Church Fathers and ecclesiastical life in general within contemporary reality, and to appreciate the spiritual wealth of the Orthodox Church. You are those who will judge this work that I offered throughout the years.

This year, as announced, the theme I chose to develope is "The Fathers of the Church and Islam". This is a large and multifaceted topic, however I will try to highlight some interesting points that are unknown to many people. I will draw your attention to three points: first, the Three Hierarchs and Islam; second, The Four Phases of Dealing with Islam According to the Fathers of the Church; and thirdly, The Current Reality in the Middle East.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos