T F Torrance A Theologian for our Times: An Orthodox Assessment – Father George Dragas

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Protopresbyter George Dion Dragas (1944 – ) is a prominent 20th and 21st century Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, and writer. He is currently professor of patristics at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.

He was born in Athens, Greece, where he received his early education and studied science. He studied theology at Edinburgh University (BD) under the renowned Scots theologian and patrologist, Thomas F. Torrance, with whom he was for many years associated in academic and ecumenical work. He earned his ThM at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied briefly under Protopresbyter Georges V. Florovsky. He finished his PhD at Durham University, England; his dissertation, entitled Athanasius Contra Apollinarem, was published in 1985 with an introduction by Thomas Torrance. Dragas was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 1980 by Archbishop Methodios Fouyas of Thyateira and Great Britain.

Fr. Dragas taught patristics at Durham University, England, from 1974-1995. Since 1995, he has been teaching at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, where he also served as Dean from 1995 to 1997. At present, he is also a Visiting Professor at Université de Sherbrooke in Québec, Canada.

He is a specialist on St. Athanasius and the Alexandrian theologians and is responsible for updating with critical introductions the Athens reprint of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca (about 80 volumes published so far). He is also the General Editor of the Patristic and Ecclesiastical Texts and Translations and the Orthodox Theological Library series published by the Orthodox Research Institute. He is a member of the Academie Internationale des Science Religieuses (Brussels). From 1998 to 2001, he was the editor of the Greek Orthodox Theological Review. He presently serves on the editorial board of Participatio: The Journal of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. In 2000, the Faculty of Theology of the St. Clement National University of Sofia, Bulgaria, conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity (DD) honoris causa. In 2005, the Department of Pastoral and Social Theology of the Faculty of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Theology (ThD) honoris causa. In 2007, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki awarded him the Aristeion award, the university’s highest award for academic research and achievement. Fr. Dragas has also been highly active in ecumenical affairs, serving as a theological representative of various Orthodox patriarchates in the international Orthodox/Reformed, Orthodox/Anglican, Orthodox/Methodist, Orthodox/Lutheran and Orthodox/Oriental Orthodox dialogues. In 1992, he was instrumental in drafting together with T.F. Torrance the Orthodox-Reformed “Agreed Statement on the Holy Trinity.”

Orthodox School of Theology: http://www.hchc.edu/holycross.html

This video gives a deep insight into what T F Torrance was like according to someone who studied under him and later viewed him like a father as well as a colleague.  I love the affection Father Dragas shows as he speaks of his many intimate encounters, discussions and precious moments he had with him.  He also shows the deep respect the Greek Orthodox have for T F Torrance with many of their current leaders having been sent to do part of their studies in Edinburgh.  The only real minor differences appear to be more institutional tradition between the Orthodox and the Reformed as well as some theological differences accordingly.  The Greek Orthodox loved T F Torrance’s insights into the Church Fathers and the language he used to describe the heart of their theology.  It would serve the Trinitarians to always have the Orthodox as a guide as well as a well-informed ‘brother’ in our ministries.