Protopresbyter Georges Florovsky was a prominent 20th century Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, and writer, active in the ecumenical movement. His writing is known for its clear, profound style, covering subjects on nearly every aspect of Church life.
Florovsky was born in Odessa in 1893 as the fourth child of a priest. Inspired by the erudite environment in which he grew up, he learned English, German, French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew while still a schoolboy. At eighteen, he started to study philosophy and history. In 1925, Florovsky was appointed professor for patristics at the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. In this subject, he found his real vocation. Patristics became for him the benchmark for Orthodox theology and exegesis, as well as a source for many of his contributions and critiques of the ecumenical movement. In 1932, Florovsky was ordained to the priesthood.
In 1949, Florovsky moved to New York City to take a position as Dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary. Florovsky's oversight of the development of the theological curriculum led to the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York granting the Seminary an Absolute Charter in 1953. He was fired as Dean in 1955 and thereafter taught at Harvard Divinity School (1956-1964), teaching patristics and Russian religious thought, and later at Princeton (1964-1972), teaching Slavic languages and literatures. He died in 1979.