Dr. Paul L. Gavrilyuk
Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue/JRC 153
St. Paul, MN 55105
Paul L. Gavrilyuk holds the Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the Theology
Department of the University of St Thomas, St Paul, Minnesota, USA. Born in
Kiev, Ukraine, he studied physics at Moscow Institute of
Physics and Technology in Russia (1988-1993). He was one of the first
scholars from the former Soviet Union to come to the United States to
pursue graduate work in theology. In 2001, he received his doctorate in patristics from the Graduate Program in Religious
Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Orthodox theologian and historian, Dr. Gavrilyuk specializes in Greek patristics and modern Russian religious thought. His
areas of interest also include philosophy of religion, liturgical studies,
and ecumenical studies. Gavrilyuk is the author or editor of several books: The Suffering of the Impassible God: The
Dialectics of Patristic Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004;
Spanish edition in 2012; Romanian edition forthcoming), Histoire du catéchuménat
dans l’église ancienne [A
History of the Catechumenate in the Early Church] (Paris: Le Cerf,
2007; Russian edition in 2001), Immersed
in the Life of God: The Healing Resources of the Christian Faith. Essays in Honor of William J. Abraham,
co-edited with Douglas Koskela and Jason Vickers
(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008),
and The Spiritual Senses:
Perceiving God in Western Christianity, co-edited with Sarah Coakley
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), and most recently,
Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). His scholarly articles have
appeared in The Journal of Theological
Studies, Scottish Journal of
Theology, Vigiliae Christianae,
Modern Theology, Studia Liturgica,
as well as Greek and Russian academic journals. He is also a contributor to
encyclopedias, dictionaries, and multi-author symposia.
internationally recognized scholar and teacher, Dr. Gavrilyuk has had
speaking engagements or taught courses in the following countries:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan,
Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and United
States. His visiting teaching appointments include Harvard Divinity School
(Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Spring 2007), the Pontifical University of
St Thomas Aquinas (Rome, Italy, Fall 2005), and Ukrainian Catholic
the University of St Thomas, Dr. Gavrilyuk teaches a broad range of
subjects, from introductory undergraduate course ‘Christian Theological
Tradition’ to more specialized graduate courses, such as ‘Patristics’ and
‘Eastern Christianity’. He is the founder and organizer of the Theology
Department’s public lecture series, New
Frontiers in Theological Research.
the full list of publications see the Curriculum vitae listed
The Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic
Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Spanish edition: El Sufrimiento
del Dios impasible, trans. Juan Garcia-Baró (Salamanca: Editiones Sígueme, 2012).
Pătimirea dumnezeului nepătimitor. Dialecticile găndirii patristice,
trans. Dragoş Dâscă (Ilassy: Doxologia, 2013).
The book provides a major reconsideration of the issue of divine
suffering and divine emotions in the early Church Fathers. Patristic
writers are commonly criticized for falling prey to Hellenistic philosophy
and uncritically accepting the claim that God cannot suffer or feel emotions.
Gavrilyuk shows that this view represents a misreading of evidence. In
contrast, he construes the development of patristic thought as a series of
dialectical turning points taken to safeguard the paradox of God's
voluntary and salvific suffering in the Incarnation.
A History of the Catechumenate in the
edition: Istoriia katekhizatsii
v drevnei tserkvi
edition: Histoire du catéchuménat dans l’Église ancienne, trans.
Francoise Lhoest et al. (Paris: Le Cerf, 2007).
The book is a contribution to the on-going
discussion of the structure and content of the ancient catechetical
practices and their value for the contemporary revival of Christian
initiation. The study traces, in broad lines, the development of selected
regional catechetical practices from the apostolic to the early Medieval
period. Special attention is given to the setting of the catechumenate in
baptismal, liturgical, penitential, ascetic, and exorcistic
practices of the church. The influence of the catechumenate upon the
development of the creeds, doctrine and church architecture is discussed.
The role of the catechumenate among other methods of conversion is
Immersed in the Life of God: The Healing Resources of the Christian
Faith. Essays in Honor of William
J. Abraham, co-edited with Douglas Koskela
and Jason Vickers (Grand Rapids,
Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008).
In this volume honoring William J. Abraham,
noted theologians, philosophers, and historians offer erudite analysis of
various aspects of the faith Scripture, conversion, initiation, liturgy,
confession, reconciliation, and more and explore how those elements can
serve to effect healing in broken lives. Brilliantly highlighting the
therapeutic function of the means of grace available in Christian
tradition, Immersed in the Life of God opens a conversation concerning an
important theme too often neglected in the church today. / Contributors:
Frederick D. Aquino, Ellen T. Charry, Paul L.
Gavrilyuk, Douglas M. Koskela, Sandra Menssen, R. R. Reno, Thomas D. Sullivan, Jason E.
Vickers, Geoffrey Wainwright, Robert W. Wall and Jerry L. Wals.
The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity,
co-edited with Sarah Coakley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Is it possible to see, hear, touch, smell and taste God? How do we
understand the biblical promise that the 'pure in heart' will 'see God'?
Christian thinkers as diverse as Origen of Alexandria, Bonaventure,
Jonathan Edwards and Hans Urs von Balthasar have all approached these questions in
distinctive ways by appealing to the concept of the 'spiritual senses'. In
focusing on the Christian tradition of the 'spiritual senses', this book
discusses how these senses relate to the physical senses and the body, and
analyzes their relationship to mind, heart, emotions, will, desire and judgement. The contributors illuminate the different
ways in which classic Christian authors have treated this topic, and
indicate the epistemological and spiritual import of these understandings.
The concept of the 'spiritual senses' is thereby importantly recovered for
contemporary theological anthropology and philosophy of religion.
Georges Florovsky and the
Russian Religious Renaissance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
Georges Florovsky is the mastermind of a "return to the Church Fathers"
in twentieth-century Orthodox theology. His theological vision—the
neopatristic synthesis—became the main paradigm of Orthodox theology
and the golden standard of Eastern Orthodox identity in the West. Focusing
on Florovsky's European period (1920-1948), this study analyzes how
Florovsky's evolving interpretation of Russian religious thought,
particularly Vladimir Solovyov and Sergius Bulgakov, informed his approach
to patristic sources. Paul Gavrilyuk offers a new reading of Florovsky's
neopatristic theology, by closely considering its ontological,
epistemological, and ecclesiological foundations.
It is common to
contrast Florovsky's neopatristic theology with the "modernist" religious
philosophies of Pavel Florensky, Sergius Bulgakov, and other representatives
of the Russian Religious Renaissance. Gavrilyuk argues that the standard
narrative of twentieth-century Orthodox theology, based on this
polarization, must be reconsidered. The author demonstrates Florovsky's
critical appropriation of the main themes of the Russian Religious
Renaissance, including theological antinomies, the meaning of history, and
the nature of personhood. The distinctive features of Florovsky's
neopatristic theology—Christological focus, "ecclesial experience,"
personalism, and "Christian Hellenism"—are best understood against the
background of the main problematic of the Renaissance. Specifically, it is
shown that Bulgakov's sophiology provided a polemical subtext for
Florovsky's theology of creation. It is argued that the use of the patristic
norm in application to modern Russian theology represents Florovsky's
‘Creation in Early Christian Polemical Literature: Irenaeus against the
Gnostics and Athanasius against the Arians’,
Modern Theology 29/2 (April 2013),
Neopatristic Synthesis and the Future of Orthodox Theology’,
George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou, eds.
Orthodox Constructions of the West
(New York: Fordham University Press, 2013), 102-124, 302-308
‘The Orthodox Renaissance’, First
Things (December 2012), 33-37.
‘God’s Participation in Human Suffering in the Early Christian
Theology of Martyrdom’, in Terrence Merrigan and Frederik Glorieux,
eds., ‘Godhead Here in Hiding’: Incarnation and the History of Human Suffering
(Leuven: Peeters, 2012), 297-305.
Harnack’s Hellenized Christianity or Florovsky’s “Sacred Hellenism”:
Questioning Two Metanarratives of Early Christian Engagement with Late
Antique Culture’, St Vladimir’s
Theological Quarterly 54/3-4 (2010), 323-344.
Retrieval of Deification: How a Once-Despised Archaism Became an Ecumenical
Desideratum’, Modern Theology 25:4 (October 2009), 647-659.
‘Baptism in Pseudo-Dionysius’s Ecclesiastical Hierarchy’, Studia Liturgica 39:1
‘God’s Impassible Suffering in the Flesh: The Promise of Paradoxical
Christology,’ in T. J. White and J. Keating, eds. Divine Impassibility
and the Mystery of Human Suffering (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans,
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Live in
Christianae 62 (2008), 505-514.
Process of Initiation: Toward the Retrieval of Patristic Catechumenate’, in
P. L. Gavrilyuk et al., eds. Immersed in the Life of God: The Healing
Resources of the Christian Faith. Essays in Honor of William J.
Abraham (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008), 21-40.
Reception of Dionysius in Twentieth-Century Eastern Orthodoxy’, Modern
Theology 24: 4 (October 2008), 707-723.
Sarah Coakley and Charles M. Stang, eds., Re-Thinking
Dionysius the Areopagite (Oxford, UK:
Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 177-194.
and Regula Fidei:
Two Interlocking components of the Canonical Heritage’ and ‘Canonical
Liturgies: The Dialectic of Lex Orandi and Lex Credendi’, in Canonical Theism: A Proposal for
Theology and the Church, ed. William J. Abraham et al. (Grand Rapids,
Mich.: Eerdmans), 27-42, 61-72.
Orthodoxy (Philosophical Theology)’, in Paul Copan and Chad V. Meister,
eds., The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of
Religion (London: Routledge, 2007), 476-486.
Participation of the Deacons in the Distribution of Communion in the Early
Church’, St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 51 (2007), 255-275.
Salvation in the Eschatology of Sergius Bulgakov’, The Journal of Theological Studies 57
Theology of Sergius Bulgakov’,
Scottish Journal of Theology 58 (2005), 251-269.