Background

On 28 May 2010 the Amsterdam Centre for Eastern Orthodox Theology (ACEOT) was established. Prof. Wim Janse, dean of the Faculty of Theology, and Prof. Masha Antokolskaia, president of the Dutch Foundation for Eastern Orthodox Theology, Spirituality and Praxis signed a letter of intent to this effect. Director of ACEOT is Dr. Michael Bakker.

On 26 July 2010, the rector magnificus of VU University Amsterdam appointed Prof. Andrew Louth visiting professor, on recommendation of the Faculty of Theology and on behalf of the Executive Board of the university. Prof. Louth will be academic leader of ACEOT and be associated with the interuniversity Centre for Patristic Research (CPO). The appointment is for two years with the intention of extending it by another two years.

Prof. Louth has recently retired as Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies from the University of Durham. He has published a great number of books and articles, supervised many PhD students and has recently been elected Fellow of the British Academy. Formerly an Anglican priest, Fr Andrew Louth is an Eastern Orthodox priest and rector of the Orthodox parish in Durham, under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

On 23 June the Orthodox Bishops' Conference for the Low Countries was founded. Metropolitan Panteleimon of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, chairman of the conference and the members Archbishop Gabriel, Bishop Maximos and Bishop Athenagoras were present during the blessing of the ACEOT on 21 October 2010. Bishop Athenagoras, assisted by deacon Michael Bakker, officiated during the ceremony. Afterwards the symposium Peace in Orthodox Theology was held.