Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury Receives Honorary Doctorate

Archbishop of Canterbury receives honorary doctorate from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in Yonkers, New York.


Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury (second from left), was greeted by seminary Dean Fr. John Behr (far right), seminary Chancellor Fr. Chad Hatfield (far left), Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (second from right), and Matushka Juliana Schmemann (center) at the 27th annual Father Schmemann Memorial Lecture on campus. [PHOTO: Joseph Olas]

Dr. Rowan Williams began his New York City tour this past week with duties related to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, but ended it by demonstrating his academic acumen and continued interest in the Orthodox Christian faith. On Saturday, January 30, 2010, the Anglican archbishop delivered the 27th annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture— this year titled “Theology and the Contemplative Calling: The Image of Humanity in the Philokalia”— and received an honorary doctoral degree from St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

During his visit, Dr. Williams also attended Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs in the seminary chapel, and had a lively and frank discussion with St. Vladimir’s theological faculty at a private brunch. After the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), and the Anglican archbishop both publically expressed their desire for a deeper personal friendship and their hope for deeper understanding and cooperation between their respective communions. Additionally, Dr. Williams thanked the seminary community for its "overwhelming warm and generous welcome," which, he stated, surpassed even his first visit to the seminary in 1974, and was all that he "had hoped and prayed for."

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St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

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