Very Rev. John H. Erickson  

Very Rev. John H. Erickson Offers 10th Annual SS. Cyril and Methodius Lecture

The Very Reverend John H. Erickson, former Dean and Professor Emeritus of Church History at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY, delivered the 10th Annual SS. Cyril and Methodius Lecture, on Monday, May 3, 2010. The event, attended by 110 participants,  was held at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

Fr. Erickson	shares his	humor with the audience.

Fr. Erickson shares his humor with the audience.
Fr. Erickson gave an edifying and thought-provoking talk on the theme of “Baptism in the Eastern Christian Tradition: Ecclesial Context, Faith Content.” Taking the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as the springboard that provides for the Christian his faith content, Fr. Erickson indicated that the three sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist – all possess the same central theme of the Christ event without any inherent disjunction between them. Similarly, as witnessed in Scripture and in the historical tradition of the Church, Christ and the Holy Spirit also operate as one unit. Hence, the rites of initiation are treated and celebrated in the East as one continuous theophany. In the second portion of his lecture, Fr. Erickson focused on the ecclesial implications of baptism, addressing the controversial Cyprianic maxim of “no salvation outside the Church,” offering correctives from Fathers like St. Basil the Great and others.
Rector, bishops and speaker
Archpriest John G. Petro, Seminary Rector; Bishop John M. Kudrick, Parma; Metropoiltan Nicholas, Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of Johnstown; Bishop Melchisedek, Orthodox Church in America, Pittsburgh Diocese; Bishop William C. Skurla, Passaic; Very Rev. John Erickson, Presenter.

The event concluded with stimulating dialogue in the form of questions, posed to Fr. Erickson by several of the attendees present, clergy and laity alike. Also present were Hierarchs from both the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, as well as the faculty, staff, and seminarians from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary. Members of the St. Paul Seminary community, as well as friends and supporters of both academic communities, also attended. Following the lecture, the attendees enjoyed refreshments and fellowship with one another.

Fr. John Erickson taught Church History and Canon Law at St. Vladimir’s Seminary from 1973 until his retirement in the summer of 2009. He has published several books, articles, and book chapters in his field. Actively involved in church and ecumenical activities for many years, he has served and continues to serve as a member of the North American Orthodox – Catholic Theological Consultation and the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches. Among his many interests are liturgical music and mission theology, the latter of which was sparked by six weeks of teaching in a small theological seminary in rural Tanzania in the spring of 2008.

The annual SS. Cyril and Methodius Lecture series is sponsored by the Byzantine Catholic Seminary. Its purpose is to invite noted scholars from both Catholic and Orthodox traditions to offer meaningful presentations within their areas of expertise and to perpetuate the theological dialogue in both the academic community and the Church.
The Lecture will be available on a CD by the end of May.  Check website  for more information.

Fr. Stelyios S. Muksuris, M.Litt., Ph.D.
Professor of Languages and Liturgical Theology
Byzantine Catholic Seminary



Top of Page