Noted Religious Scholar to Lecture at UCSB

With an eye toward developing interest in the study of Eastern Orthodox Christianity at UC Santa Barbara, the Department of Religious Studies has invited one of the world's premier spokesmen for that tradition to speak to students and the community.

The Rev. Thomas Hopko, dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y., will share his thoughts on the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and related issues in a lecture titled, "The God of Light and Darkness: Reflections on God and the World in Eastern Orthodox Tradition," at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov.13 in the McCune Conference Center of UCSB's Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Father Hopko, who earned a Ph.D. in theology at Fordham University, was elected dean at St. Vladimir's -- the premier Orthodox seminary in the United States -- in 1992.

He has taught at St. Vladimir's since 1968. He has served as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and as a delegate to World Council of Churches assemblies in Uppsala, Sweden and Nairobi, Kenya.

He is the author of many books on Eastern Orthodox spirituality, including Speaking of Silence: Christians and Buddhists in the Contemplative Way and The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church, which has been translated into more than 14 languages.

Father Hopko's appearance is sponsored by the Central Coast Orthodox Clergy Association along with UCSB's departments of Religious Studies, Classics, and History, which plan to bring more representatives of the Orthodox tradition to speak at UCSB in the months ahead.

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