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He has also served as locum tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, D. He succeeded His Eminence, the late Archbishop Kyrill Yonchev , who had overseen the diocese from to On March 29 , , Bp.
He was enthroned on June 11 , In , he was elevated to the rank of archbishop. Through his father, Prince Yuri George Golitzin , he is a descendant of the Golitzin princely line. In , he earned a Master of Divinity degree from St. With the help of his mentor at St. Vladimir's Seminary, John Meyendorff, Golitzin spent his next seven years at Oxford in doctoral studies and was granted a D.
His time at Simonos Petras, under the guidance of its archimandrite, Elder Aimilianos Vafeidis , was decisive in shaping his understanding of mystical experience. In his own words, on Mount Athos he found that "the holy man was not a distant ideal or a literary topos — something out of an eight-century manuscript or a Paleologian icon — but a reality. In , he was tonsured to monastic orders by the Elder Aimilianos at the monastery of Simonos Petras and received the monastic name of Alexander.
He was later elevated to the rank of igumen and, on the day of his election to the episcopate, to the rank of archimandrite. In , Golitzin took up a permanent faculty position in the Theology Department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where, over the next two decades, he established himself as a leading expert on Jewish and Christian mysticism. Although widely known for his groundbreaking scholarship, he also became an exceptional teacher who was able to mentor a large cohort of doctoral students during his time at Marquette.
He was particularly helpful to those students who came to Marquette University from the Eastern Orthodox tradition by giving them a clearer understanding of their own theological and spiritual legacy. During his tenure at Marquette University he formed with his doctoral students what later came to be known as the "Theophaneia School" — a theological forum on the Jewish roots of Eastern Christian mysticism.
Bishop Alexander is a noted scholar. He contributed, together with Fr. From until he taught patristics at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, as assistant professor, associate professor, and eventually full professor.
Archimandrite Aimilianos himself was a learned man who had some knowledge of Jewish mystical accounts and did not discourage his monks from reading these texts. This early interest in Jewish apocalyptic and mystical traditions, along with their relevance for understanding Eastern Christian spirituality, was stimulated when Golitzin joined the theological faculty of Marquette University in There some of his colleagues, including Michel Barnes, introduced him to the scholarship of Alan Segal and other experts in Jewish apocalypticism and mysticism.
By the middle of the s, Golitzin had established himself as one of the most significant voices among Orthodox scholars advocating for the importance of Jewish apocalypticism and mysticism in understanding the conceptual roots of Orthodox theology and liturgy.
In his books and articles, Golitzin often laments the failure of Orthodox scholarship to attend to "the patrimony of biblical and post-biblical Israel. He often notes the difference between these monks and those modern Orthodox academics who ignore this rich legacy of pseudepigraphical and apocryphal materials from post-biblical Israel and Christian antiquity. Whereas the monks thought these documents were worthy of the considerable attention necessary just to copy them, one would be hard-pressed to find a single, contemporary Orthodox theologian who devotes any significant amount of time and space even to study them.
One of Golitzin's original contributions to the understanding of the evolution from Jewish to Christian apocalypticism, and then further to apocalyptic traditions preserved by Eastern Orthodox authors, is his concept of the so-called "interiorized apocalypticism.
In early Jewish biblical and pseudepigraphical accounts, divine theophanies are often portrayed as revelations of the divine Glory, or Kavod. Moreover, these early Jewish testimonies attempt to envision Kavod not simply as an anthropomorphic manifestation of the deity, but rather as a crucial nexus of cultic devotion and worship.
Such veneration of the divine Glory takes place not only in heaven, where the divine Kavod is surrounded by angelic worship, but also on earth, where the symbolic presence of the divine Form between the two cherubim of the Holy of Holies becomes the very center of the Jewish sacrificial cult. Early roots of this Kavod symbolism in Jewish lore are traceable to the mythological imagery found in the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, which became an enduring inspiration for generations of apocalypticists and mystics, including later Eastern Orthodox authors.
And, indeed, one can agree with Golitzin that "theophany permeates the Orthodox tradition throughout, informing its dogmatic theology and its liturgy. He reflects on this unfortunate theological forgetfulness in contemporary Orthodoxy by noting that "while the witness continues uninterrupted in the liturgical texts, in hagiography, in the practice of the monasteries and especially of the hermitages, the formal, academic theology taught in Orthodox schools Golitzin demonstrated how the idea of the Temple was not completely lost in the Christian tradition, but rather adapted through Christological reformulations.
Long before Greek philosophical vocabulary became the standard conceptual vehicle of Christian doctrine, Christians natively and universally drew on the symbolic liturgical language of the Jewish Temple.
Such sacerdotal imagery was already influential among New Testament authors and remained dominant in the Eastern Orthodox tradition until the advent of modernity. Yet, in contemporary patristic scholarship, all references to early Jewish symbolism found in dogmatic and ascetical works of the Church Fathers, whether the imagery of the Divine Chariot the Merkavah , the Holy of Holies, the Temple, or the details of the temple worship are usually interpreted as mere rhetorical devices and stylistic embellishments.
Golitzin criticizes such a simplified approach, contending that without a proper understanding of Jewish sacerdotal and liturgical traditions, we are unable to fully grasp the dogmatic core of patristic theology. Golitzin's first effort to apply his new methodology to the study of patristic texts was his doctoral dissertation on Dionysius the Areopagite , defended in Oxford University and later published in Analekta Vlatadon. It was most convenient because few other authors drew on liturgical symbolism so saliently in their formulation of Christian dogma.
And it was most inconvenient because the cultural heritage of the Corpus Dionysiacum had stronger connections to Platonic rather than to Jewish traditions. Golitzin's pioneering study thus placed Dionysius the Areopagite within a tradition which extends to the origins of Christianity and then even further to its Second Temple Jewish roots. The study also exhibited his use of more proximate Christian sources, notably fourth-century Syrian ascetical literature, whose own roots go back to the earliest forms and sites of Christianity: the Jewish-Christian villages and communities of Aramaic speaking Palestine.
While in California, Fr. Alexander was active in missionary work. He preached, taught, heard confessions, and assisted in the liturgical and pastoral work. Moreover, for several years he also served major services at the St. John Chrysostom monastery in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. On October 4 , , the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America canonically elected Father Alexander to the vacant see, also raising him to the rank of archimandrite.
He was later appointed by the Holy Synod locum tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest , serving in this capacity from April 15, , to December 27, Articles: Several articles can be viewed at . Please consider supporting OrthodoxWiki. From OrthodoxWiki. Jump to: navigation , search. Vladimir's Seminary Graduates. Navigation menu Personal tools Log in Request account. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read View source View history.
This page was last edited on April 11, , at This page has been accessed 37, times. Preceded by: Kyrill Yonchev. Preceded by: Dmitri Royster.
The Most Reverend Alexander
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Bishop Alexander Golitzin