In memoriam Metropolitan Elder John of Pergamon (1931-2023)

The Elder Metropolitan of Pergamon John Zizioulas died in Athens on 2 February 2023, at the age of 92. He was one of the most influential Orthodox Christian theologians of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Born on 10 January 1931 in Katafygio, Velventos, in Greece, he studied at the Universities of Thessaloniki and Athens in 1950, and then a year at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in 1955. Between 1960 and 1964 he did doctoral research under the renowned Orthodox theologian Georges Florovsky at Harvard and was a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies. He received his doctorate in 1965 from the University of Athens. He taught theology at the University of Athens, at the University of Thessaloniki, at the New College in Edinburgh, at the University of Glasgow and at King’s College London. In 1986, he was elected metropolitan of Pergamon.

He served as assistant secretary to the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order from November 1967 to September 1970. He served as the Orthodox co-chairman of the International Committee of the Official Orthodox-Anglican Theological Dialogue and the similar Committee of the Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Roman Catholics, and chaired the Fourth and Fifth Pre-Council Pan-Orthodox Conferences in Chambésy, Geneva.