John S. Romanides

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Father John Savvas Romanides (1927 - 2001), Ιωάννης Ρωμανίδης, was a prominent 20th century Greek Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, and writer. 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, and graduated from Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts.


Fr. Romanides was ordained in 1951 while studying at Yale University Divinity School, and served at Holy Trinity Church in Waterbury, Connecticut, from 1951 till 1954. After finishing his studies at Yale he was transferred for the summer of 1954 to Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City until he left for studies at St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris (1954-55). He did his doctoral work at the University of Athens from 1956 to 1957. His dissertation, The Ancestral Sin, was accepted and published in 1957, but over the objections of faculty members Panagiotes Trembelas and P. I. Bratsiotis. Although the dissertation focused on original sin, Christos Yannaras writes, "Romanides succeeded in summarizing the whole of Orthodox dogma, emphasizing the deep gulf separating it from the intellectualist and juridical expressions of Western dogma".[1]

He was appointed professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts, where he taught between 1957 and 1965 while continuing his studies and research at the Harvard Divinity School and then at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. All this time, between 1957 to 1968, he was also a parish priest. He was appointed to the parish of Newport, New Hampshire, in 1958. Then in 1959 he was appointed the first priest of St. Athanasius the Great Orthodox Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, which he helped found and organize. He resigned from Holy Cross in 1965 in protest over the removal of Father Georges Florovsky from the faculty by Archbishop Iakovos (Coucouzis) of America.

Between 1965 and 1968, Father Romanides served as the pastor of Holy Apostles' Parish in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

He was professor of dogmatics at the University of Thessalonike from 1970 until his resignation in 1982. From 1970 on, he also taught at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. He continued to teach even after his retirement.

He reposed in Athens on November 1, 2001.

He also represented the Church of Greece as member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and in the dialogues with the Lutherans and the Oriental Orthodox.

His legacy lives on through his more then 2,000 students, including many priests, monks, and at least 10 bishops.


Romanides argued for the existence of a "national, cultural and even linguistic unity between Eastern and Western Romans" that exisited until the intrusion and takeover of the West Romans (the Roman Catholics) by the Franks and or Goths (German tribes).

  • The Ecclesiology of St Ignatius of Antioch (1956).
  • Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine: An Interplay Between Theology and Society (1982) ISBN 0916586545
  • Ancestral Sin (2002) ISBN 0970730314
  • An Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics, edited by George Dion Dragas. (2004) ISBN 0974561843


  • Aidan Nichols, "John Romanides and neo-Photianism," in Light From the East: Authors and Themes in Orthodox Theology (1995). ISBN 0722050801
  • Andrew J. Sopko, Prophet of Roman Orthodoxy: The Theology of John Romanides (1998), ISBN 978-0919672253

See also


  1. Christos Yannaras, Orthodoxy and the West, p. 276 (ISBN 978-1885652812)


External links

This article incorporates text from John S. Romanides at OrthodoxWiki under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.