John Romanides

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John Savvas Romanides (Greek: Ιωάννης Σάββας Ρωμανίδης; 2 March 1927, Piraeus – 1 November 2001, Athens) was an Orthodox Christian priest, author and professor who, for a long time, represented the Greek Church to the World Council of Churches. He was born in Piraeus, Greece, on 2 March 1928 but his parents emigrated to the United States when he was only two months old. He grew up in Manhattan. A graduate of the Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts, and of the Yale Divinity School, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Athens.

From 1956 to 1965 he was Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Holy Cross Theological School in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1968 he was appointed as tenured Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, a position he held until his retirement in 1982. His latest position was Professor of Theology at Balamand Theological School, in Lebanon. Romanides died in Athens, Greece on 1 November 2001.


Romanides contributed many speculations, some controversial, into the cultural and religious differences between Eastern and Western Christianity, and how these divergences have impacted the ways in which Christianity has developed and been lived out in the Christian cultures of East and West.

His theological works emphasize the empirical basis of theology called theoria or vision of God, (as opposed to intellectual-contemplative) as the essence of Orthodox Theology. He identified Hesychasm as the core of Christian practice and studied extensively the works of 14th century hesychast and theologian St. Gregory Palamas.

His research on Dogmatic Theology led him to the conclusion of a close link between doctrinal differences and historical developments. Thus, in his later years, he concentrated on historical research, mostly of the Middle Ages but also of the 18th and 19th centuries.

A survey of his work is available: Andrew Sopko, Prophet of Roman Orthodoxy: The Theology of John Romanides (Dewdney, British Columbia: Synaxis Press, 1998).


Several of his articles can be found at the website dedicated to him. Among his books are:

  • The Life in Christ, trans. James L. Kelley (Dewdney, B.C.: Synaxis Press, 2010),
  • The Ancestral Sin, trans. George S. Gabriel (Ridgwood, New Jersey: Zephyr Publications, 2002),
  • Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology of the Orthodox Catholic Church (in Greek; Thessaloniki: Pournaras, 1973),
  • Romiosini, Romania, Roumeli (in Greek; Thessaloniki: Pournaras, 1975),
  • An Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics, trans. Protopresbyter George Dragas; Orthodox Theological Library, Vol. 1 (Rollinsford, New Hampshire: Orthodox Research Institute, 2004).
  • Patristic Theology, by John Romanides ISBN 978-960-86778-8-3
  • Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine: An Interplay Between Theology and Society, (Patriarch Athenagoras Memorial Lectures), (Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1981), ISBN 9780916586546

Works About Romanides

  • Kelley, James L. A Realism of Glory: Lectures On Christology in the Works of Protopresbyter John Romanides (Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2009).
  • Sopko, Andrew J. Prophet of Roman Orthodoxy: The Theology of John Romanides (Dewdney, B.C.: Synaxis Press, 2003).

See also

External links