Posted by: Protodeacon David Kennedy
John Chryssavgis is an author and theologian who serves as advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues.
Chryssavgis was born in Australia in 1958. He matriculated from the Scots College in Sydney in 1975 and received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens in 1980. He received a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Greek Conservatory of Music in 1979 and was awarded a research scholarship to St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary in 1982. He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford in 1983. Chryssavgis read patristic theology at Oxford. His work and writing have focused on medieval theology, as well as on the history of the Eastern Church. He holds degrees in theology and sacred music. His teaching has covered wide-ranging topics, such as theological, political, and social developments, themes and personalities of the Middle Ages, including cultural and religious relations and tensions between East and West. His interests have embraced the areas of spirituality, ecology, and liturgy. His research has specialized in the ascetic thought and practice of the early Church, especially from the desert tradition of Egypt (4th century) through the regions of Palestine (5th-6th centuries) and Sinai (7th century). After several months in silent retreat on Mt Athos, he worked with the Greek Orthodox Primate in Australia (1984-94) and was co-founder of St Andrew's Theological College in Sydney, where he was Sub-Dean and taught Patristics and Church History (1986-95). He was also Lecturer in the Divinity School (1986-90) and the School of Studies in Religion (1990-95) at the University of Sydney.
In 1995, he moved to Boston, where he was appointed Professor of Theology at Holy Cross School of Theology and directed the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College until 2002. He established the Environment Office at the same School in 2001. He has also taught as professor of Patristics at Balamand University in Lebanon.
In recent years, he has published several books and countless articles in international journals and encyclopedias in the area of religion and ecology, social justice and peace, with forthcoming books including John Climacus: from the Egyptian Desert to the Sinaite Mountain (Ashgate, UK, Winter 2004); and Light Through Darkness: Insights into Orthodox Spirituality (Orbis Books, Summer 2004)
He currently serves as theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues.
Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia writes of Deacon John Chryssavgis’ Remembering and Reclaiming Diakonia: The Diaconate Yesterday and Today. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press. 2009, “Here exactly is the book that we have long needed to help us rethink the ministry of the deacon in the contemporary Church. Scholarly yet accessible, it draws on the past to illuminate the future. It will prove of great interest not only to members of the Orthodox Church but to many in other Christian traditions. In an imaginative and moving way, the author draws on his personal experience of twenty-five years in the diaconate.”
My review of this excellent work will appear in the forthcoming volume of Logos, (Spring) 2011.
At Ancient Faith Radio, one can listen to Fr. Archdeacon John speak on the diaconate.
For those interested in music, one can listen to Cappella Romana, The Divine Liturgy in English: In Byzantine Chant. Fr. John's fine voice can be heard on this CD where he serves as deacon.