Stefan Buchiu

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Father Stefan Buchiu

Ștefan Buchiu (born March 27, 1953, in Pitești, Romania) is a cleric of the Romanian Orthodox Church, holding the title of Honorary Diocesan Vicar, and an emeritus professor of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology at the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Orthodox Theology. He served as the dean of this institution from 2008 to 2018.

Early life and education

Born on March 27, 1953, in Pitești, Argeș County, into the family of Priest Piru Buchiu and Presbytera Viorica Buchiu, Ștefan Buchiu was raised in an environment deeply rooted in Orthodox spirituality. The youngest of five siblings, he was part of a devout family where four chose the path of serving the Church as priests.

Ștefan's journey in theological education commenced in 1968 at the Theological Seminary in Craiova. Excelling in his studies, he graduated in 1973. His academic pursuit continued at the University Theological Institute in Bucharest from 1973 to 1977, where he distinguished himself as the valedictorian of his class. He further deepened his expertise in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology through doctoral studies at the same institute between 1977 and 1980, followed by an advanced study cycle at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, University of Geneva, Switzerland from 1983 to 1984.

In 1993, Ștefan Buchiu achieved a significant milestone by defending his doctoral thesis in theology at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Bucharest. His thesis, titled "Incarnation and Unity. The Restoration of the Cosmos in Jesus Christ," was conducted under the scholarly supervision of Fr. Prof. Dr. Dumitru Popescu.

Academic Career

Fr. Ștefan Buchiu commenced his academic journey in 1990, serving as a university assistant at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest. His career is marked by a steady rise through the academic ranks, evolving from lecturer to associate professor. In 2007, Fr. Buchiu was elevated to the position of university professor and doctoral advisor at the same faculty, with a focus on Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. His contributions have significantly enriched the theological curriculum, providing students with deep insights and current knowledge in his area of expertise.

Between 2009 and 2013, as the Director of the Doctoral School and from 2008 to 2018, as the Dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, Fr. Buchiu played a pivotal role in shaping the futures of countless students, masters, and doctoral candidates within the Systematic Theology section, specifically in Dogmatic Theology. His efforts have indelibly influenced the landscape of Romanian theological academia.

International Collaboration and Impact

Father Professor Ștefan Buchiu has actively facilitated international collaborations during his tenure as Dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at the University of Bucharest. His efforts to connect the faculty with leading Orthodox theological institutions globally have underscored a commitment to fostering a united and engaging Orthodox academic community.

Father Professor Ștefan Buchiu actively initiated meaningful engagements with several prominent Orthodox theological institutions, including the Orthodox Academy of Theology in Kiev, Ukraine; the Orthodox Academy in Moscow, Russia; the Orthodox Academy of Theology in Sankt Petersburg, Russia; and the Orthodox Academy of Theology in Athens, Greece, alongside the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Balamand, Lebanon and University of Fribourg, Switzerland. These collaborations aimed at enhancing academic dialogues, exchanges, and cooperative projects, contributing to a more interconnected Orthodox theological educational network. The diversity of these initiatives showcases Father Buchiu's dedication to promoting Orthodox academic dialogue and unity.

As one of several collaborations, the partnership formed in 2013 with Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) in the USA serves as a notable example. This collaboration, which included student and faculty exchanges, dialogues, and co-publications, has contributed to theological education and fostered an understanding between the Orthodox communities in Romania and the United States. In 2014, Father Buchiu's visit to SVOTS with a Romanian delegation emphasized the ongoing relationship and shared objectives between the institutions. A noteworthy occasion in this partnership was the visit of SVOTS President, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, to Romania in 2017, signifying a mutual commitment to the orthodox mission.

Additionally, Father Buchiu's role in establishing the "Justinian the Patriarch" extension of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at the University of Bucharest in Rome in 2017 illustrates his efforts to extend the reach of Romanian theological education internationally, contributing to the broader dialogue within the global Orthodox community.

Contributions and Scientific Activity

Father Ștefan Buchiu has made a notable impact in the realm of Orthodox theology, marked by a prolific output and active participation in international scholarly endeavors. His contributions have been extensive, with more than 100 studies and articles to his name, showcasing a deep engagement with theological discourse.

Books

  • Incarnation and Unity (Intrupare și unitate, 1997)
  • Orthodoxy and Secularization (Ortodoxie și secularizare, 1999)
  • Apophatic Knowledge in the Thought of Father Staniloae (Cunoașterea apofatică în gândirea Părintelui Staniloae, 2002)
  • Christian and Social Apostolate of the Romanian Orthodox Church 1925-2005 (Apostolatul creștin și social al B.O.R. 1925-2005, co-author, 2005)
  • Dogma and Theology, vol. I (Dogmă și Teologie, vol. I, 2006)
  • Dogma and Theology, vol. II (Dogmă și Teologie, vol. II, 2006)
  • The Mother of God. An Introduction to Orthodox Theotokology (Maica Domnului. O introducere în teotokologia ortodoxă, 2006)
  • Father Dumitru Stăniloae – The Theologian of Divine Love (Părintele Dumitru Stăniloae – teologul iubirii dumnezeiești, 2022)

University Courses Coordinated

  • Orthodox Dogmatic Theology vol. I (Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxa vol. I, 2017)
  • Orthodox Dogmatic Theology vol. II (Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxa vol. II, 2022)
  • Dictionary of Orthodox Theology (Dicționarul de Teologie Ortodoxă, co-author, 2017)

Edited Volumes

  • Research Methods in Dogmatic Theology (Metode de cercetare in Teologia Dogmatica, 2008)
  • God the Father and the Life of the Most Holy Trinity (Dumnezeu-Tatăl și viața Preasfintei Treimi, 2010)
  • The Mystery of Holy Unction and the Care of the Sick (Taina Sfântului Maslu şi îngrijirea bolnavilor, 2012)
  • The Meanings and Importance of the Holy Mystery of Confession and the Holy Mystery of Communion (Sensurile şi importanţa Sfintei Taine a Spovedaniei şi ale Sfintei Taine a Împărtăşaniei, 2015)
  • Lights of the Centenary (Lumini de Centenar, 2018)
  • Thematic Guide on the Lectures of Courses for Clerical Degree II (Ghid tematic privind prelegerile cursurilor pentru Gradul II clerical, 2021)

Selected Studies Published in Foreign Languages

  • The relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit in contemporary Orthodox theology, in rev. "Contacts", No. 222, April-June 2008, LX Year, pp. 103-116;
  • The Relationship Dogma-Theology according to Father Stăniloae, in vol. "Tradition and Dogma: What kind of Dogmatic Theology do we propose for nowadays?, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Symposium 2nd International Edition", Ed. Universității „Aurel Vlaicu”, Arad, 2009, pp. 34-46;
  • The role and limits of reason in apophatic knowledge in the thought of Father Stăniloae, in vol. "The function and the limits of reason in dogmatic theology. I.A.O.D.T. Third International Symposium, Thessaloniki, 23 to 26 of June 2011", Ed. Astra Museum, Sibiu, 2012, pp. 319-330;
  • The significance of the term Theotokos in contemporary Orthodox theology, in vol. "Dogma and Terminology in the Orthodox Tradition Today, 4th International Symposium of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, Sofia, 22-25 September, 2013", Ed. Astra Museum, Sibiu, 2015, pp. 187-200;
  • The Christological dimension of Orthodox eschatology and its significance for current theology, University of Balamand, Lebanon, 2018, 12 pp.

Awards and Honors

His recognition has transcended the boundaries of academic institutions, being appreciated both in the university environment and in the church, for his exemplary dedication and significant contributions in the field of theology and higher education. For his commitment and exceptional contributions in the theological field, Fr. Ștefan Buchiu has received multiple distinctions and recognitions throughout his career.

  • "Cross for Priests", awarded by His Holiness Karekin I, Catholicos of the Armenians, Ecimiazin, Armenia, 1996
  • Elevation to Archpriest, awarded by the Patriarch of Romania, Patriarch Teoctist, 2005;
  • Honorary Citizen of the locality of Corbu, Olt, since 2011;
  • President of the College of Deans of the Faculties of Orthodox Theology of the Romanian Patriarchate (2012 – 2018);
  • The Order of "Holy Emperors Constantine and Helena", 2017;
  • Vice President of the International Association of Orthodox Dogmatists, 2018;
  • The title of "emeritus professor", conferred by the Senate of the University of Bucharest, 2018;
  • The rank of "Honorary Diocesan Vicar", granted by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, 2018;
  • Right to wear the "Patriarchal Cross", the highest ecclesiastical distinction in the Romanian Orthodox Church, awarded by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel 2018;
  • The Order of "Holy Martyrs Brâncoveni", 2020;
  • The title of "Doctor Honoris Causa" awarded by the University of Craiova, 2022

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