SAINT METHODIOS OF CONSTANTINOPLE
A Study of His Life and Works
by Deacon George Peter Bithos
Paperback (January 2009)
Price: $19.95 + S&H (USD)
Saint Methodios of Constantinople: A Study of His Life and Works is the first full-scale study in English of the life and work of the great Patriarch of Constantinople, St. Methodios the Confessor (843-847). It was under him that the end of the second and final stage of the iconoclastic dispute came about. Patriarch Methodios was also responsible for establishing the “Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy,” through which the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the restoration of the use of icons in the Church (1st Sunday of Great Lent) and solemnly reaffirms the famous Synodikon of Orthodoxy. The present volume provides details on the life and times of this great Patriarch, the events that led to the triumph of Orthodoxy and the celebrations of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, including the Synodikon. It also provides a thorough and scholarly discussion of the consequences of the restoration of the icons and of the criticism which the Studite monks raised against the Patriarch. More importantly, it discusses the ecclesiological issue that was connected with the iconoclastic dispute, involving such church personalities as Patriarchs Germanos I, Tarasios, Nikephoros I and Methodios, as well as Theodore the Studite. In the last chapter, entitled “Literary Harvest,” the author explores through detailed analysis and discussion the various literary productions of the Patriarch. All of these, and especially the hagiographical and liturgical texts, reveal the great ecclesiastical and pastoral personality of St. Methodios, as well as his pivotal role in resolving the iconoclastic crisis and specifying the course of the church's path and mission in history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deacon George Bithos is ordained to the Holy Diaconate in the Greek Orthodox Church and resides in Austin, Texas. The son of a Greek Orthodox priest and a native of Dallas, Rev. Dr. Bithos is an Archon Exarchos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and has served the Archdiocese for many years. He has lectured on Theology and Byzantine History throughout his lifetime. He practiced dentistry for many years before retiring to fulfill his lifelong dream of obtaining a Doctorate in Theology and Church History. He studied and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Durham in England, reading under Rev. Dr. Andrew Louth, also an Orthodox priest. His doctoral dissertation, entitled Patriarch Methodios I of Constantinople, reflects two disciplines: Orthodox Theology and Byzantine History. His research interests are the Theology of the Icon, Church and Byzantine History and twentieth century Theology, Ecclesiology and Ecumenism.
Most recently he was the Executive Director of the Texas Conference of Churches and previously served as the Registrar of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, where he also lectured through the ISOS program.
Deacon Bithos has been married for 39 years to his wife, Ria. They have two grown children and four grandchildren.