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Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Bishop Hilarion.jpg
Archbishop Hilarion in his study
Born 24 July 1966
Church Russian Orthodox Church
Education Moscow Theological Academy; Pembroke College, Oxford
Ordained 1987 (priest and monk), 2002 (bishop)
Writings St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2000), The Spiritual World of Isaac of Nineveh (Cistercian Publications, 2000), The Mystery of Faith (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002),et al.
Title Archbishop of Volokolamsk
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Hilarion (Alfeyev), Archbishop of Volokolamsk, Vicar of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, is a hierarch (bishop) of the Russian Orthodox Church, theologian, church historian, and composer. He is the author of several monographs on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history.



His Eminence Hilarion (baptized Grigoriy Alfeyev) was born on July 24, 1966 in Moscow.



From 1972 to 1982 he studied violin, piano and composition at the Moscow Gnessins School and from 1983 to 1986 at the Moscow State Conservatoire.

In 1989 he graduated by correspondence from the Moscow Theological Seminary and in 1991 from the Moscow Theological Academy, with the degree of Master of Theology.

From 1991 to 1993 he taught Homiletics, Dogmatic Theology, New Testament Studies and Byzantine Greek at the Moscow Theological Academy, St Tikhon’s Theological Institute and St John the Theologian’s Orthodox University.

From 1993 to 1995 he studied at the University of Oxford (UK) under the supervision of Bishop Kallistos Ware. In 1995 he completed his doctoral thesis on ‘St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition’ and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Church activity

In January 1987 he entered the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he was tonsured as a monk on 19 June, ordained a deacon on 21 June and ordained priest on 19 August the same year. Until 1991 he served as parish priest in Lithuania, including two years as dean of Annunciation Cathedral in Kaunas.

From 1995 to 2001 Hilarion Alfeyev served as Secretary for Inter-Christian Affairs of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. He also taught part time at Smolensk and Kaluga Theological Seminaries (Russia), at St Vladimir’s and St Herman’s Theological Seminaries (USA) and at Cambridge University (UK).

On 27 December 2001 he was nominated Bishop, and on 14 January 2002 consecrated by Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, and 10 other hierarchs.

He was appointed Assistant (Vicar) Bishop in the Diocese of Sourozh in the UK, but as a result of an acute conflict situation around him and at Metropolitan Anthony's request[1], the Holy Synod decided, only a few months later, on 17 July 2002, that he was to be transferred and nominated as Head of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions in Brussels.

On 7 May 2003 he was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria, administrator of the Diocese of Budapest and Hungary, in addition to his position in Brussels, which he continues to hold.

On March 31, 2009 he was appointed the Bishop of Volokolamsk, the Vicar to His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus, the chairman of the Department of the External Church Relations (the position previously held by the current Patriarch Kirill himself), and a permanent member of the Holy Synod, ex officio.

On Easter Monday, 2009 was raised to an archbishop by Patriarch Kirill during the Divine Liturgy in The Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.

Scholarly work

Archbishop Hilarion is author of more than 500 publications, including four monographs in English: St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2000)[1] , welcomed by the press [2], The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian (Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI, 2000)[3], The Mystery of Faith. An Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002)[4], Orthodox Witness Today (WCC Publications, 2006)[5].

Apart from his doctoral degree in philosophy from Oxford, Archbishop Hilarion also holds a doctorate in theology from St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, which was awarded to him in 1999. In February 2005 he was elected a Privat-Dozent of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

Musical activity

Archbishop Hilarion is author of numerous musical compositions. His "St Matthew Passion", grand oratorio for soloists, choir and orchestra, received standing ovation at its performances at the Great Hall of Moscow Concervatory (27 March 2007)[6], at the Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome (29 March 2007)[7], and at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne (28 September 2007).[8]. Equally well received was his "Christmas Oratorio", performed in Washington, Boston and New York (18-20 December 2007)[9] and later in Moscow (7 and 15 January 2008).

Ecumenical activity

Bishop Hilarion is a member of the Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches, of the Presidium of ‘Faith and Order’ Commission, as well as of numerous bilateral theological dialogues. In 1998 he headed the 5-member Moscow Patriarchate delegation to the 8th WCC Assembly in Harare, and in February 2006 head the Moscow Patriarchate's 21-member delegation to the 9th Assembly in Porto-Alegre.

Bishop Hilarion is a permanent member of the Joint International Commissions for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, between the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church, between the Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

On 10 October 2007 Bishop Hilarion walked out of an important meeting of the Orthodox-Roman Catholic International Theological Commission at Ravenna, allegedly in protest against the choice of delegates by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His action was approved by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church[10] [11]

On 5 October 2008 Bishop Hilarion took part in the "Bible marathon" organized by the Italian state TV channel RAI-Uno. He read Chapter Two from the Book of Genesis, immediately following Pope Benedict XVI, who read Chapter One. Bishop Hilarion was followed by 1246 readers from various countries.

In September 2009, at the invitation of Walter Cardinal Kasper, he visited Pope Benedict XVI and several officials of the Roman Curia who have key roles in Roman Catholic ecumenical dialogue.

See also


(Books only)

In English

1.St Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

2.The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian. Cistercian Studies No 175. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 2000.

3.The Mystery of Faith. Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002.

4.Orthodox Witness in a Modern Age. Geneva: WCC Publications, 2006.

5.Christ the Conqueror of Hell. The Descent into Hell in Orthodox Tradition. New York: SVS Press (in preparation).

In French

6.Le mystère de la foi. Introduction à la théologie dogmatique orthodoxe. Paris: Cerf, 2001.

7.L’univers spirituel d’Isaac le Syrien. Bellefontaine, 2001.

8.Syméon le Studite. Discours ascétique. Introduction, texte critique et notes par H. Alfeyev. Sources Chrétiennes 460. Paris: Cerf, 2001.

9.Le chantre de la lumière. Initiation à la spiritualité de saint Grégoire de Nazianze. Paris: Cerf, 2006.

10.Le mystère sacré de l’Eglise. Introduction à l’histoire et à la problématique des débats athonites sur la vénération du Nom de Dieu. Fribourg: Academic Press, 2007.

11.Le Nom grand et glorieux. La vénération du Nom de Dieu et la prière de Jésus dans la tradition orthodoxe. Paris: Cerf, 2007.

In Italian

12.La gloria del Nome. L’opera dello schimonaco Ilarion e la controversia athonita sul Nome di Dio all’inizio dell XX secolo. Edizioni Qiqajon. Bose, Magnano, 2002.

13.La forza dell’amore. L’universo spirituale di sant’Isacco il Syro. Bose: Qiqajon, 2003.

14.Cristo Vincitore degli inferi. Bose: Qiqajon, 2003.

In German

15.Geheimnis des Glaubens. Einführung in die orthodoxe dogmatische Theologie. Aus dem Russischen übersetzt von Hermann-Josef Röhrig. Herausgegeben von Barbara Hallensleben und Guido Vergauwen. Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz, 2003. 2. Ausgabe — Fribourg: Academic Press, 2005.

In Greek

16.O agios Isaak o Syros. O pneumatikos tou kosmos. Athina: Akritas, 2005.

In Serbian

17.Тајна вере: увод у православно догматско богословље. Превод са руског Ђорђе Лазаревић; редактор превода Ксенија Кончаревић. Краљево: Епархијски управни одбор Епархије жичке, 2005.

In Finnish

18.Uskon mysteeri. Johdatus ortodoksineen dogmatiseen teologiaan. Ortodoksisen kirjallisuuden Julkaisuneuvosto. Jyväskylä, 2002.

In Hungarian

19.A hit titka. Bevezetés az Ortodox Egyház teológiájába és lelkiségébe. Magyar Ortodox Egyházmegye, 2005.

In Polish

20.Tajemnica wiary. Wprowadzenie do prawosławnej teologii dogmatycznej. Warszawska Metropolia Prawosławna (w przygotowaniu).

In Russian

21.Таинство веры. Введение в православное догматическое богословие. М.-Клин: Изд-во Братства Святителя Тихона, 1996. Издание второе — Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2000. Издание третье — Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2004. Издание четвертое — Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2005.

22.Отцы и учители Церкви III века. Антология. Т. 1-2. М.: Круглый стол по религиозному образованию и диаконии, 1996.

23.Жизнь и учение св. Григория Богослова. М.: Изд-во Крутицкого патриаршего подворья, 1998. Издание второе — СПб.: Алетейя, 2001.

24.Духовный мир преподобного Исаака Сирина. М.: Изд-во Крутицкого патриаршего подворья, 1998. Издание второе — СПб.: Алетейя, 2001.

25.Преподобный Симеон Новый Богослов и православное Предание. М.: Изд-во Крутицкого патриаршего подворья, 1998. Издание второе — СПб.: Алетейя, 2001.

26.Преподобный Исаак Сирин. О божественных тайнах и о духовной жизни. Новооткрытые тексты. Перевод с сирийского. М.: Изд-во «Зачатьевский монастырь», 1998. Издание второе — СПб.: Алетейя, 2003.

27.Преподобный Симеон Новый Богослов. Главы богословские, умозрительные и практические. Перевод с греческого. М.: Изд-во «Зачатьевский монастырь», 1998.

28.Восточные Отцы и учители Церкви IV века. Антология. Т. 1-3. М.: Круглый стол по религиозному образованию и диаконии, 1998—1999.

29.Ночь прошла, а день приблизился. Проповеди и беседы. М.: Изд-во Крутицкого патриаршего подворья, 1999.

30.Православное богословие на рубеже эпох. Статьи, доклады. М.: Изд-во Крутицкого патриаршего подворья, 1999. Издание второе, дополненное — Киев: Дух i лiтера, 2002.

31.Преподобный Симеон Новый Богослов. «Прииди, Свет истинный». Избранные гимны в стихотворном переводе с греческого. СПб.: Алетейя, 2000.

32.Восточные Отцы и учители Церкви V века. Антология. М.: Круглый стол по религиозному образованию и диаконии, 2000.

33.Христос — Победитель ада. Тема сошествия во ад в восточно-христианской традиции. СПб.: Алетейя, 2001. Издание второе — СПб.: Алетейя, 2005.

34.О молитве. Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2001. Издание второе — Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2004.

35.Вы — свет мира. Беседы о христианской жизни. Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2001. Издание второе — Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2004.

36.Человеческий лик Бога. Проповеди. Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2001.

37.Преподобный Симеон Новый Богослов. Преподобный Никита Стифат. Аскетические произведения в новых переводах. Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2001.

38.Священная тайна Церкви. Введение в историю и проблематику имяславских споров. В двух томах. СПб.: Алетейя, 2002.

39.Во что верят православные христиане. Катехизические беседы. Клин: Фонд «Христианская жизнь», 2004.

40.Православное свидетельство в современном мире. СПб: Издательство Олега Абышко, 2006.

In Romanian

41.Hristos, biruitorul iadului. Coborarea la iad din perspectiva teologica. Bucureşti: Editura Sophia, 2008.

In Japanese

42. 信仰の機密 Shinkō no kimitsu. Nikolai Takamatsu yaku. Tōkyō Fukkatsu dai Seidō, 2004.

Musical compositions

1. "Four Poems by Federico Garcia Lorca" for voice and piano (1984).

2. "The Divine Liturgy" for mixed choir (2006).

3. "The All-Night Vigil" for soloists and mixed choir (2006).

4. The "St Matthew Passion" for soloists, choir and orchestra (2006).

5. The "Christmas Oratorio" for soloists, boys' choir, mixed choir and symphony orchestra (2007).

6. "Memento" for symphony orchestra (2007).

7. "A Song of the Ascents". A symphony on the Psalms for choir and orchestra (2008).


External links


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