Alexander (Golitzin) of Toledo

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Igumen Alexander Golitzin

The Right Reverend Alexander (Golitzin) is Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese. Bishop Alexander is the second Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese (OCA). He succeeded His Eminence, the late Archbishop Kirill [Yonchev]. Archbishop Kirill had overseen the diocese from 1964 to 2007; in 1976, Archbishop Kirill brought the diocese under the omophorion of the Orthodox Church in America.



Alexander Golitzin was born in 1948, a native of St. Innocent Orthodox Church, Tarzana, California. He went on to study at University of California Berkeley, receiving a BA in English, before earning his M.Div. at St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York. He later went on to earn the D.Phil. in Theology at Oxford University in 1980, writing his dissertation on Dionysius the Areopagite under the direction of Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. In the final years of his doctoral studies, he spent time on Mt. Athos, at Simonos Petras monastery, where he became a disciple of [Elder Aimilianos][1], and eventually a monk.

Teaching and Scholarship

Alexander Golitzin is a noted scholar. He contributed, together with Fr. Michael Prokurat, to the establishment of an Orthodox scholarly presence in Berkeley, CA (now the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute). From 1989 until 2012 he taught Patristics at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and eventually full Professor. His research concerns the beginnings of Christian mystical and ascetical traditions, and their subsequent developments in the Greek- and Syriac-speaking East, with a particular interest in continuities and parallels with, respectively, Second Temple Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism. His work on the Christian ascetical and mystical tradition attracted a number of doctoral students from Russia, Romania, and Serbia, with whom he began the scholarly project known as the Theophaneia School[2].

Pastoral Work

While in California, Fr. Alexander was active in missionary work. In Milwaukee, he assisted the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Marquette University, and was attached to Ss. Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church[3]. He preached, taught, heard confessions, and assisted in the liturgical and pastoral work. For several years he also served major services at the [St. John Chrysostom monastery][4] in Kenosha, WI.

On October 4, 2011, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America elected Archimandrite Alexander to the vacant See of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese. Archimandrite Alexander was nominated for the vacant see at the diocese’s Fifth Congress-Sobor held in Toledo, OH on Saturday, June 9, 2011. On Saturday, May 5, 2012 he was consecrated Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Rossford, OH.

In his address prior to the ordination, Bishop-elect Alexander said: “When standing before the holy altar at the anaphora, the bishop images forth the one and unique High Priest—Christ—Who acts through His celebrant. While it is true that our Lord Jesus is true God and true King, it is also true that He did not come to us, His creatures, with the pomp and splendor of the King, attended by the legions of heaven, but rather in humility He emptied Himself and was found in the likeness of a servant. These are very different images: the first set revelatory of the splendor of heaven, and the second of the humility, long-suffering, and charity of our Lord’s life and ministry. … I must keep this difference firmly in mind throughout my life as bishop, by which I mean the glory of the liturgical iconography should have no place in my office and day-to-day demeanor. My actions, my patterns of speech, my service in short, is to be determined by the example given us by God the Word Himself.”



  • Mistagogia: Experienta lui Dumnezeu in Ortodoxie. Sibiu, 1998. [in Romanian]
  • New Light From the Holy Mountain. South Canaan, 1996.
  • St Symeon the New Theologian on the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses, 3. vols. Crestwood, 1995-1997)
  • The Historical Dictionary of the Orthodox Church, with Michael Prokurat and Michael Peterson. Lanham, 1996.
  • Et introibo ad altare dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita. Thessalonika, 1994.
  • Mystagogy: A Monastic Reading of Dionysius Areopagita. Liturgical Press/ Cistercian Publications, forthcoming in 2014)


  • "The Mysticism of Dionysius Areopagita: Platonist or Christian?" Mystics Quarterly 19 (1993): 98-114.
  • “Hierarchy Versus Anarchy: Dionysius Areopagita, Symeon the New Theologian, Nicetas Stethatos, and Their Common Roots in the Ascetical Tradition,” St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 38 (1994): 131-179.
  • “Anathema! Some Historical Perspectives on the Athonite Statement of May 1995,” St. Nersess Theological Review 3 (1998): 103-117
  • "’A Contemplative and a Liturgist’ : Father Georges Florovsky on the Corpus Dionysiacum,” St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 43 (1999): 131-161.
  • “Revisiting the 'Sudden': Epistle III in the Corpus Dionysiacum,” Studia Patristica 37 (2001): 482-491.
  • "Many Lamps Are Lightened From the One": Paradigms of the Transformational Vision in the Macarian Homilies,” Vigiliae christianae 55 (2001): 281-298 [with Andrei Orlov]
  • “Earthly Angels and Heavenly Men: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Nicetas Stethatos, and the Tradition of Interiorized Apocalyptic in Eastern Christian Ascetical and Mystical Literature,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001): 125-153.
  • “Adam, Eve, and Seth: Pneumatological Reflections On An Unusual Image in Gregory of Nanzianus's Fifth Theological Oration," Anglican Theological Review 83 (2001): 537-546.
  • “Dionysius Areopagites in the Works of Saint Gregory Palams: On the Question of a ‘Christological Corrective’ and Related Matters,” Saint Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 46 (2002): 163-90.
  • “The Demons Suggest an Illusion of God’s Glory in a Form: Controversy Over the Divine Body and Vision of Glory in Some Late Fourth, Early Fifth Century Monastic Literature,” Studia Monastica 44 (2002): 13-44.
  • “A Testimony to Christianity as Transfiguration: The Macarian Homilies and Orthodox Spirituality,” Orthodox and Wesleyan Spirituality (ed. S. T. Kimbrough; Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002), 129–156
  • “Dionysius Areopagita: A Christian Mysticism?” Pro Ecclesia 12 (2003): 161-212.
  • “The Place of the Presence of God: Aphrahat of Persia’s Portrait of the Christian Holy Man,” ΣΥΝΑΞΙΣ ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΙΑΣ: Studies in Honor of Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonos Petras, Mount Athos (Athens: Indiktos, 2003), 391-447.
  • “The Image and Glory of God in Jacob of Serug’s Homily, On That Chariot That Ezekiel the Prophet Saw,” Saint Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 46 (2003): 323-364.
  • “‘Suddenly, Christ’: The Place of Negative Theology in the Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagites,” Mystics: Presence and Aporia (ed. Michael Kessler and Christian Shepherd; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 8-37.
  • "Christian Mysticism over Two Millennia," The Theophaneia School: Jewish Roots of Christian Mysticism (ed. Andrei Orlov and Basil Lurie; St. Petersburg: Byzantino-rossica, 2007), 17–33.
  • “The Vision of God and the Form of Glory: More Reflections on the Anthropomorphite Controversy of AD 399,” Abba: The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West: FS Kallistos Ware (SVS Press, 2007): 273-297.
  • “Il corpo di Cristo: Simeone il Nuovo Teologo sulla vita spirituale e la chiesa gerarchica,” Simeone il Nuovo Teologo e il monachesimo a Costantinopoli (Qiqajon: Monastero di Bose, 2003), 255-288. (ENGLISH: “The Body of Christ: Saint Symeon the New Theologian on Spiritual Life and the Hierarchical Church,” The Theophaneia School: Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism (Saint Petersburg: Byzantinorossica, 2007), 106-127)
  • “Theophaneia: Forum on the Jewish Roots of Orthodox Spirituality,” The Theophaneia School: Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism (Saint Petersburg: Byzantinorossica, 2007), xvii-xx.
  • “Heavenly Mysteries: Themes from Apocalyptic Literature in the Macarian Homilies and Selected Other Fourth Century Ascetical Writers,” Apocalyptic Themes in Early Christianity (ed. Robert Daly; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009), 174–192
  • “Making the Inside like the Outside: Toward a Monastic Sitz im Leben for the Syriac Apocalypse of Daniel,” To Train His Soul in Books: Syriac Asceticism in Early Christianity (ed. Robin Darling Young and Monica J. Blanchard; CUA Press, 2011).
Succession box:
Alexander (Golitzin) of Toledo
Preceded by:
Kyrill (Yonchev)
Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese

Succeeded by:
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