On July 20 it was announced that “St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) has appointed Dr. Ionuţ-Alexandru Tudorie [first name: yo-noots] to the position of academic dean. The Seminary’s Board of Trustees selected Tudorie, a native of Romania, on July 18 after the Academic Dean Search Committee had narrowed down the list of possible candidates to two. The announcement concludes an extended and carefully-undertaken search process that began at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.”
A number of factors in Dr. Tudorie’s appointment appear to give cause for optimism:
- First among these is that it comes at the end of a proper search that lasted almost a full year.
- Second, he brings to his new post a scholarly, teaching, and publishing record that seems hard to match in someone as young as he.
- Third, a significant portion of his work focuses on dialogue, so important to our readers and writers at Orthodoxy in Dialogue. Geographically, linguistically, and culturally, Romanian Orthodoxy has long seen itself as a “natural bridge,” so to speak, between the Christian East and the Christian West. We hope that Dr. Tudorie evinces as much openness to dialogue within the Orthodox Church as he has shown toward other Christian traditions.
- Fourth — and we express this as a hope — if Dr. Tudorie brings to Orthodox scholarship in America something of the spirit of Father Dumitru Stăniloae (1903-1993) of thrice-blessed memory, his presence and work at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and in the broader intellectual landscape of Orthodoxy in the Western Hemisphere can portend nothing but good. Father Stăniloae’s unvanquished optimism toward life and the inherent goodness of all things human — despite unimaginable personal sufferings at the hands of the Communist regime — compelled him to engage positively with the political, philosophical, cultural, and social currents of the 20th century. More than once in his writings, Father Stăniloae affirms the activity of the Holy Spirit in the multiple sites of human progress taking place in the “secular” world.
Many years, Dr. Tudorie! La mulţi ani!