Lucian Turcescu: We should build on the previous foundation

  1. Lemma
  2. Lucian Turcescu: Să construim pe fundaţia anterioară
  3. Romanian
  4. Stavinschi, Alexandra
  5. Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies - Scientific theories and disciplines > Religious studies - Ecumenism and dialogue > Ecumenism - Ecumenism and dialogue > Westernism and anti-westernism
  6. 26-1-2017
  7. Bădiliţă, Cristian [Author]. Lucian Turcescu: We should build on the previous foundation
  8. Stiinta dragoste credinta. Convorbiri cu patrologi europeni. [Science faith love. Conversations with European patrologists]
  9. Early Church Fathers - St Gregory of Nyssa - Methodological issues - Scientific method - ethics - interreligious dialogue
    1. 153-167
    1. This chapter is based on a conversation that Cristian Badilita had with Lucian Turcescu in 2002. Professor Turcescu is the Director of Post-Graduate Studies in the Department of Theology at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) and President of the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies. Before coming to Concordia he worked for six years at St. Francis Xavier University (Canada) where he served as Dean of the Department of Religious Studies.

      He began his career with scientific studies at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. Soon after he switched career and graduated from the Faculty of Theology of Sibiu, where he was introduced in patristics. He completed a doctorate in theology at the University of Toronto, with a thesis on St. Gregory of Nyssa.

      Although his interest in patristics was born in Romania, he found in the West a number of academic tools that have enormously helped his work. He mentions the institutions, the research methods, the professional network, the libraries and the work ethics, as well as other resources that he could benefit from. He outlines a very detailed and accurate picture of Canadian patristics.

      In what follows, the conversation focuses on the so-called neo-patristic movement. Turcescu identifies its main specific features and adds another one, which drew attention especially in the Protestant circles: Greek patristic theology is analysed in contrast with Latin patristics and there is a clear tendency to show the superiority of the former on the latter (for instance, the Cappadocian Fathers versus Augustine).

      Turcescu believes, just like his interviewer, that it is necessary and useful to return to the patristic sources. If on the one hand we must build on the earlier foundation though, on the other hand we should not become slaves to tradition; we need to make sure that this does not prevent us from seeing things in a different light. Interestingly, the attempt to reconnect theology to its patristic sources may have extremely positive consequences on the "dogmatic" ecumenism and beyond. Taking as a reference the patristic tradition of the first Christian centuries could be a serious and unanimously accepted basis of discussion for all Christian denominations today.

      In the end, Turcescu is invited to talk about Gregory of Nyssa and about his relevance in the contemporary world.