The forgotten ways
Bishop Atanasije of Belgrade, Serbia, will be visiting South Africa from 17-23 October, and will speak on “The forgotten ways — monasticism and the church fathers in the modern and postmodern world”.
Bishop Atanasije is coming to South Africa for the patronal festival of St Thomas’s Serbian Orthodox Church at Sunninghill, Johannesburg, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
On Saturday 18 October at 5:00 pm there will be Vespers in the church, followed by Bishop Atanasije’s lecture, and refreshments in the church hall. The church is at 14 Tana Road, Sunninghill.
The topic should be of interest not only to Orthodox Christians but also to others, especially those interested in the “emerging church” movement. Some of those involved in that movement, notably Alan Hirsch and Brian McLaren, have written and spoken of a rediscovery of the “forgotten ways” by Western Christians, who in the recent past have tended to forget the church fathers and the monastic movement.
Eastern Christians have also been undergoing a process of rediscovery, though for different reasons. Mor much of the second half of the 20th century Eastern Christians were under the rule of secularist and Bolshevist governments, as a result of which, for many of them too, monasticism and the church fathers were “forgotten ways”.
Over the last 15 years or so there has been a great revival of monasticism in Eastern European countries, especially Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, as people have rediscovered the forgotten ways. Bishop Atanasije will speak of this rediscovery, and of what it could mean for those living in the modern and postmodern world.
Bishop Atanasije (Rakita) is the Bishop of Hvosno Kyr, and is also the Auxiliary Bishop of Belgrade, taking care of the Diocese of Belgrade while Patriarch Pavle is ill.
He will be accompanied Fr Miodrag Popovic and Deacon Stevan.
Apart from the Vespers and public lecture on Saturday 17 October, their programme will be as follows:
- Friday 17 Oct, 10:00 am – Doxology at St Thomas’s Church
- Saturday 18 Oct, 5:00 pm – Vespers and public lecture at St Thomas’s Church
- Sunday 18 October 9:00 am – Divine Liturgy, Slava and procession at St Thomas’s Church
- Monday 20 October 12:30 am – reception at the Metropolis (14 Sixth Street Houghton) by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim, Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria
- Tuesday 22 October 11:00 am – visit to the three monastery sites near Hartebeestpoort Dam
- Wednesday 22 October 11:00 am – Visit to St Athanasius School in Phomolong, Tembisa
For more information please contact Fr Pantelejmon (Jovanovic), the Rector of St Thomas’s Church: