|The Revd Dr Liviu Barbu
Born in 1975, Bucharest, Romania; UK resident since 2000.
I am married to Ana-Maria and we have three children: Maria, Philothea and Gabriel.
Areas of specialization and research
- Spiritual direction
- Pastoral and Practical Theology
- Christian Spirituality
- PhD in Theology, King’s College, London, Department of Education and Professional Studies (2004-2008). Thesis: ‘Pastoral Care as Spiritual Direction: An Eastern Orthodox Pastoral Theology and its Implications for Contemporary Pastoral Practice’. Supervisors: Dr Luke Bretherton and Canon Professor Andrew Walker. Examiners: The Revd Professor Ben Quash and The Revd Dr Demetrios Bathrellos.
- MA in Christian Ethics, King’s College, London, Department of Theology and Religious Studies (2002-2003). Thesis: ‘The Role of the Sacrament of Confession in Christian Life’. Supervisor: The Revd Professor Michael Banner.
- MA in Biblical Studies, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest (1999-2000). Thesis: ‘Biblical Exegesis in the Work of St Symeon the New Theologian’. Supervisor: The Revd Professor Constantin Cornitescu.
- BA in Pastoral Theology, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest (1995-1999). Thesis: ‘The Trinitarian Mystical Theology of St Symeon the New Theologian’. Supervisor: The Revd Professor Sandu Stefan.
Other specialized qualifications
- Cambridge Proficiency Certificate in English (2002, 2003).
- Diploma in Translation English – Romanian (MA level, Institute of Linguists, London, 2008).
- Diploma in Public Service Interpreting English – Romanian (BA level, Institute of Linguists, London, 2007).
- Qualified Teacher of Religious Education (Bucharest University, 1999).
- Associate Lecturer and Distance-Learning Tutor (since 2009), Postgraduate Supervisor and Board Member (since 2016), the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge, institution member of Cambridge Theological Federation.
- Academic Director, The College of Our Lady of Mettingham, Suffolk (since 2015).
- Associate Lecturer and Tutor, ‘Dumitru Staniloae’ Centre of Study and Research, Paris, Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe (since 2016).
- Associate Lecturer and Tutor, Norwich Centre for Christian Learning, an ecumenical institution of the Anglican Cathedral in Norwich (since 2010).
- Translator, Sophia Publishing House, Bucharest, Romania (since 2007).
- Freelance theologian and public speaker.
Church and religious ministry
- Rector, The Romanian Orthodox Church in Norwich, Parish of Martyr Philothea and St Bede the Venerable, St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Gillingham, Suffolk NR34 0ND (since 2010).
- Ecumenical Chaplain, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk
NR1 2DH, part-time (since 2016)
- Member of the Pastoral Committee of the Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Great Britain and Ireland (since 2010).
- Associate Priest, Parish of St George, Romanian Orthodox Church, London (2009-2010).
- Deacon, Parish of St George, Romanian Orthodox Church in London (2009).
- Secretary of the Parish Council and ROC UK Trust, Romanian Orthodox Church in London (voluntary work, 2003–2006).
- Qualified legal translator and interpreter (since 2007)
- Consular Clerk and Advisor, the Consular Department of the Romanian Embassy in London (2013-2016).
- Teacher of Religious Education (Bucharest, Romania, 1997-2000)
- An Eastern Orthodox Pastoral Theology and its Implications for Contemporary Pastoral Practice (under consideration).
- ‘Spiritual Fatherhood in the World: A Practical Approach’, in Kallistos Ware and Graham Speake, eds., Spiritual Direction on Mount Athos (Peter Lang, 2015), 91-110.
- ‘The turn to the inner-self and liturgical participation in the Desert Fathers’, Studia Patristica: Proceedings of the Fourth British National Patristic Conference 2012, 72 (2014).
- ‘Symbols and metaphors in the early Christian tradition: St Paul, St Ignatius and John Zizioulas’, A Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 2 (2013): 255-268
- ‘Spiritual fatherhood in and outside the desert: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective’,
Studia Patristica: Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Patristic Conference 2011, 64.12 (2013): 65-76.
- ‘Spiritual Formation as an Art: Adult Faith Formation in the Eastern Orthodox
Tradition’, Journal of Adult Theological Education 9.1 (2012): 28-43.
- ‘The bishop as spiritual father in early Christian writings and the Eastern Orthodox
tradition of spiritual fatherhood’, Studia Patristica: Proceedings of the Third British National Patristic Conference 2010, 52 (2012): 27-33.
- ‘Life and Spirit: Spiritual Fatherhood in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition’, Koinonia: The Journal of Anglican and Eastern Churches Association (London, 2011).
- ‘Natural and Fallen Will and their Twist in the Eastern Orthodox Practice of Ascetic
Obedience’, Studia Patristica: Proceedings of the Second British National
Patristic Conference 2009, 50 (2011): 259-268.
- ‘ “Charisma” vs. “Institution”? The Ascetics and the Church’, Studia Patristica: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Patristic Conference 2007, 45 (2010): 3-8.
- ‘The “poor in spirit” and our life in Christ: An Eastern Orthodox perspective
on Christian discipleship’, Studies in Christian Ethics 22.3 (2009): 261-274.
- ‘The Mystery of Salvation and Contemporary Theologies of Redemption’, in Theology for Today: Soteriology and Eschatology (vol. 1; Dublin: The Priory Institute, 2009).
- ‘Bibliography: Secondary Works on John Zizioulas’, in Douglas Knight, ed., The
Theology of John Zizioulas: Personhood and the Church (Aldershot, Burlington: Ashgate, 2007).
- Everett Ferguson, The Early Church at Work and Worship, vol. 1: Ministry, Ordination, Covenant and Canon (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 2014, The Expository Times, March (2016) 127: 301-302.
- The Epistles of St Symeon the New Theologian, ed. and trans. H.J.M. Turner (Oxford University Press, 2009), The Journal of Theological Studies2 (2010).
- John Zizioulas, Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church (T&T Clark, 2006), The Heythrop Journal2 (2008): 348-50.
- Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church (London/New York: T&T Clark, 2006) – Romanian translation: Mitropolitul Ioannis (Zizioulas) de Pergam, Comuniune şi alteritate. Fiinţarea personal-eclesială (Bucharest: Sophia, 2013), 455pp.
- The Calendar-Synaxarion (2015-2017), published by the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe, translation form Romanian into English with Nicholas Meade.
Conferences, lectures, seminars and taught courses at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies
- The sacraments of the Church (seven video lectures for the Distance learning programme), April 2017.
- ‘What it takes to be a saint today? A tentative sketch of a portrait’, Annual Summer Conference Contemporary Fathers and Mothers of the Church: Guides for Today’s World, August 2016.
- Organiser of On Eschatology Today: A Celebration of the Life and Work of John Zizioulas conference, Westcott House, Cambridge, June 2014 (speakers: Rowan Williams, Kallistos Ware, Bogdan Bucur, John Zizioulas and myself).
- MA module course in Pastoral Theology (‘Baptism and Chrismation’; ‘Monasticism and Pastoral Care’; ‘Ordination and the Priesthood’; ‘Confession and Spiritual Direction’; ‘Asceticism and Pastoral Life’; ‘The Liturgical Year’; ‘Sickness and Death: Anointing of the Sick and the Funeral Services’), 2011, 2013.
- Reading the Bible, BA module course – ‘Saint Paul and Spiritual Fatherhood’, 2011.
- MA lecture – ‘Spiritual Direction in the Early Church and our Quest for Wholeness’,
- BA lecture in Systematic Theology: ‘Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon on the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity’, 2009.
- MA module course in Pastoral Theology – Texts and Practices in the Early Church: ‘Sin and Forgiveness’, ‘Spiritual Direction’, ‘Eucharist and Liturgy’, with Dr Marcus Plested and Dr Oonagh O’Brien, 2009.
Lectures and seminars at the Norwich Centre for Christian Learning, Norwich Anglican Cathedral
- ‘An ecumenical dialogue between Anglicans, Catholics, United Reformed and Eastern Orthodox Christians on the Lima document on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order paper 111)’, February – May 2016.
- ‘An introduction to the history, theology and spirituality of the Orthodox icon’, February 2016.
- ‘Living theology in mundane life or living faith through holiness’, February 2015.
- ‘From Apostles to Contemporary Disciples: Spiritual Guidance in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition’, Norwich Centre for Christian Learning, Norwich Cathedral, February 2012.
- ‘Life in Christ: An Introduction to Eastern Orthodox Spirituality’, February 2010.
Study days and lectures at the College of our Lady of Mettingham
- ‘A Christian perspective on creation and evolution’ – A study day with Revd Dr Razvan Ionescu, forthcoming.
- ‘The sacrament of confession – a remedy for modern man’, College Day, September 2016.
- ‘Holy images of Christ and the saints: Altar screens and orthodox icons’ (speakers: Professor John Mitchell, Revd Dr Gabriel Hanganu and myself), November 2015.
- ‘Orthodox-Catholic Encounters in Byzantium: The Case of Thomas Aquinas’ (speaker, Dr Marcus Plested), July 2015.
Academic activity at Dumitru Staniloae’ Centre of Study and Research, Paris, Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe
- ‘An introduction to the history and spirituality of spiritual formation in the early Church and today’, February 2017
- Coordinator of the module of pastoral and spiritual formation of the Romanian clergy of the Western Europe, February-June 2017.
- ‘Spiritual direction and formation as a lifetime commitment to holiness’, Good Work Annual Chaplaincy Conference, Norwich, October 2016.
- ‘Orthodoxy, practice and holiness in the Early Church: An Eastern Orthodox perspective’, Theology and Ethics Research Seminar, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, March 2015.
- The Lent Lectures, the Anglican Cathedral in Norwich, March – April 2014.
- ‘Preaching in Orthodoxy’, lecture given for the Orthodox-Evangelical ecumenical dialogue, St Alban and St Sergius Fellowship, Oxford, May 2014.
- ‘The sacrament of confession’, Meeting of the UK Deanery of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe, Birmingham, May 2014.
- ‘Holistic education and formation from a Christian perspective’, University of East Anglia, November 2013.
- ‘Spiritual Direction for Today: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective’, Norfolk Theological Society, Norwich, March 2013.
- ‘Christian spiritual direction and formation – “the art of arts and the science of sciences”’, Leeds Trinity College, November 2012.
- ‘Translating Spiritual Direction from Monastery into the World: A Romanian Case Study’, The Friends of Mount Athos Conference, Cambridge, March, 2013.
- ‘Symbols and metaphors in the early Christian tradition: St Paul, St Ignatius and John Zizioulas’, Faculty of Philosophy, Catholic University of Portugal, Braga, September 2011.
- ‘On the sacrament of Baptism’, Meeting of the UK Deanery of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe, Ilam, April 2011.
- ‘Redeeming human nature in Eastern Orthodox theology and practice’, Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Theology, Durham, 2016.
- ‘Asceticism lives on: Reception and continuity in Eastern Christianity’, Seventeenth International Patristic Conference, Oxford, 2015.
- ‘The turn to the inner-self and liturgical participation in the Desert Fathers’, Fourth British Patristics Conference, University of Exeter, 2012.
- ‘Early monasticism between heaven and earth and its engagement with the Church’, Conference in honour of Andrew Louth, Durham University, 2012.
- ‘Deification through spiritual direction in the Eastern Orthodox tradition’, Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Theology, University of York, 2012.
- ‘Hesychasm and the prayer of the heart: the legacy of St Gregory Palamas for spiritual fatherhood in Romanian Orthodoxy’, International Conference on Saint Gregory Palamas, Thessaloniki, 2012.
- ‘Spiritual fatherhood in and outside the desert: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective’, Sixteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford, 2011.
- ‘Life abundant: The fulfilment of the human person through spiritual direction’, Annual Conference of the British and Irish Association for Practical Theology, London, 2011.
- ‘The bishop as spiritual father in early Christian writings and contemporary soundings in the Eastern Orthodox tradition of spiritual fatherhood’, Third British Patristic Conference, St John’s College, Durham University, 2010.
- ‘The Natural and Fallen Will and their Twist in the Eastern Orthodox Practice of Ascetic Obedience’, Second British National Patristic Conference, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 2009.
- ‘The “poor in spirit” and our Life in Christ: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective’, Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Westcott House, University of Cambridge, 2008.
- ‘ “Charisma” vs. “Institution”? The Ascetics and the Church’, Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford, 2007.
- ‘Discerning the Will of God in the World through Spiritual Direction’, Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Theology, Girton College, University of Cambridge, 2007.
- ‘Christian Theology and Pastoral Practices: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective’, Postgraduate Forum of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Wycliffe College, Oxford University, 2007.
- ‘The Role of Spiritual Direction in Contemporary Society’, Postgraduate Forum of the
Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Mansfield College, Oxford University, 2007.
- ‘ “Eastern” and “Western” Approaches to Spiritual Direction in British Orthodoxy’, Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College, London, 2006.
- ‘Saint Paul as Spiritual Father’, Research Institute in Systematic Theology, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College, London, 2006.
- ‘Christian Discipleship in the Eastern Monastic Tradition’, Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College London, 2005.
- ‘The “Theology” of Discipleship according to the Desert Fathers’, Postgraduate Forum of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Wycliffe College, Oxford University, 2005.
- ‘Spiritual Direction in the Early Church’, Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, Departament of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College, London, 2004.
- ‘The Communion of the Church in the Divine Liturgy: Epiclesis and the Eucharist’, MA Seminar led by the late Professor Colin Gunton, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College, London, 2003.
- Interview Trinitas TV, Station of the Romanian Patriarchate, 30/5/2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6kSKnKBdsE
- Interview BBC Radio Norfolk, 18/12/2012, http://bornea.co.uk/ro/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/BBC-Radio-Norfolk-Romanian-church-pkg-Sun-23-Dec-2012.mp3
- Interview BBC Radio Norfolk, 5/5/2013, http://bornea.co.uk/ro/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BBC-Radio-Norfolk-clip-5th-May-2013.mp3
- Romanian National TV Station, July 2011.
- Articles in Lumina, the official newspaper of the Romanian Orthodox Churchr Manchester OL3 5FZ, .
- Articles in Apostolia, the official publication of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe.
- Articles in Diaspora and Ziarul Romanesc, Romanian newspapers in the UK.
Membership of learned societies
- Society for the Study of Theology (SST)
- North American Patristic Society (NAPS)
Skills and aptitudes
- Outstanding use of the English language in communication, debate and written form;
- IT skills, internet based resources and communication, Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Moodle, etc., used in classroom, Distance Learning teaching and research;
- Grant application experience with educational related grant-making bodies and charitable trusts.
- Professor Andrew Walker, Emeritus Professor of Theology, Culture & Education, King’s College London, Department of Education and Professional Studies, Franklin-Wilkins Building, London SE1 9NH, UK; Phone: +44 20 7848 3183; Email: email@example.com
- Dr Marcus Plested, Associate Professor, Theology Department, Marquette Hall 325, Marquette University, O. Box 1881, 1250 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233, US; Phone: +1 414-288-3740; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, former Academic Director, The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies;
- Dr Christoph Schneider, Academic Director, The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Wesley House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BJ, +44 (0)1223741037; Email: email@example.com.
- HE Joseph, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Western and Southern Europe, 1 Bd du Général Leclerc, 91470 Limours, France; Phone: +33 164915924; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs Audrey Sharp, HR Acting Head, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 2DH, UK; email@example.com; +44 1603222796.
- ‘Dr Barbu is a promising young theologian, an honest person and a devout Christian, who certainly deserves your trust and the chance of proving himself in the academia’; ‘The [Cambridge] conference has been a success in every respect.’ (Metropolitan John [Zizioulas] of Pergamon);
- ‘We are receiving very good reports on the Zizioulas’ conference, which redounds to our reputation and to yours.’ (Professor David Frost, Former Principal, The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies);
- ‘I would like to formally congratulate Liviu Barbu on successful completion and passing of his PhD viva on the 22nd of October 2008 . . . Liviu worked extremely hard in order to compete his thesis on time and to such a high standard, and I would like to thank him for all he has contributed to the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture as a member of our post-graduate community.’ (Dr Luke Bretherton, Associate Professor, Duke University, Former Reader, King’s College London);
- ‘Dr Barbu proved himself an absolutely dedicated teacher, interacting well with the students on the course who found him to be a most approachable and effective resource. He prepares very assiduously and conveys his expertise with enthusiasm. I have also formed a very favourable impression of his research skills and interests: he has worked extensively not only on the Early Church but also on contemporary issues, having particular strengths in patristics and modern systematic theology. He has also begun to develop a substantial programme of publications.’ (Dr Marcus Plested, Associate Professor, Marquette University);
- ‘A word to express my thanks once again for your fine contribution this afternoon. Your paper was outstandingly informative and elegant and your response to questions beautifully sensitive.’ (Professor Brian Thorne, The Norwich Centre Counselling Service);
- ‘Many thanks to you and all who helped bring about this Study Day. It is great to have such a wonderful opportunity here in modern Norfolk/Suffolk to learn. In recalling it, I appreciate everything about the experience – the friendly welcome, the tolerance of my clumsy entrance and naive questions/comments, your willingness to engage in discussions, the intelligent companionability, the stimulating lectures, the sharing of your service, the beautiful peaceful surroundings, the hospitality – I could go on. Thank you for welcoming me as one from another tradition/school. From my own experience I know you must have worked hard to organise such a smoothly running, interesting and enjoyable event […] I’m so glad this has sprung up in East Anglia – if I may use a metaphor of living water … perhaps like St Withburga’s Well … A special thank you, Fr Liviu, for helping to make theological subjects accessible to the ordinary man. Even just naming the subject of a talk stimulates one into thought, in my case! This is the kind of stimulation/dialogue which I have wished to find available at a parochial level, but local vicars don’t seem to have time, support or even audience for such, whenever I have broached the subject as a potential interfaith matter to promote Life in struggling churches. I suppose sadly, it may be more a reflection of an over-secular, over-materialistic age, and not the fault of an individual or group […] For some time I’ve spotted your talks being advertised and they always seem to be on illuminating subjects. Only lately have I had the chance to attend one at last! I look forward to announcements of any other public talks you […] may give, whether at Mettingham or elsewhere in this region […]’ (Ms K. Lovatt);
- ‘I just thought it would be good to let you know that two of our Oblates came to the day yesterday and were over the moon about it. It sounds to have been memorable, and beautifully put together with all one needed, without
overloading it.’ (Sr Sheila, All Hallows Convent, Ditchingham);
- ‘We are most grateful to you for writing part of the module text. Your work is most appreciated and will make a significant difference to our students’ learning experience’ (Fr John Littleton, Head of Distance Education, The Priory Institute in Dublin);
- ‘The […] tutorials with you have been illuminating, as are the course materials. I’m glad I took the course. I have always been aware that, quite apart from your intellectual abilities and your PhD from King’s College London, you have always extended excellent pastoral, as well as academic, care and supervision of us. Thank you.’ (Edward Fido, Distance-Learning student, The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies).
- ‘Thank you for submitting your paper, “Poor in Spirit”, for consideration to Studies in Christian Ethics. I am happy to tell you that it is accepted for publication, and attach here are the reader’s recommendation for you to see. Congratulations on a fine piece of work.’ (Dr Susan F. Parsons, Editor, Studies in Christian Ethics)
- ‘ “The <<poor in spirit>> and our life in Christ” is a splendid piece of work. Spot on in every respect, and written in a felicitous style that makes effective use of the sources without obstructing the way with any kind of pedanticism. The author does a fine job of setting down the background of interpretation of the beatitudes and this passage in particular. He or she then persuasively makes the case for humility as the foundational virtue of the Christian life and how this conviction is reflected in Orthodox practice. All in very little space!’
- ‘The author swims confidently and gracefully in the mainstream of Orthodox theology. I have nothing critical to say about the essay. I am sure it served its purpose well in an ecumenical audience of peers in conference and that it will do the same as a published piece. It certainly is deserving of publication.’
- ‘Fr Liviu has worked tirelessly for the establishment and promotion of the Romanian community in the city of Norwich [. . .] His missionary activity includes pastoral, social and educational work with the Romanian community as well as with local communities. His activity within the Consular Department covers public administration fields such as keeping records, liaising with the Police, courts and commend HM Prisons in the UK. I warmly commend Dr Liviu Barbu for his dedication, detailed and accurate work carried out in a collegial, relaxed and pleasant manner.’ (HE Dr Ion Jinga, the Ambassador of Romania to the United Nations, former Ambassador of Romania in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland).
- ‘Thank you for running this group. I am sad to no longer be able to come along, as they were a little oasis of peace in my busy day.’ (Eva Kolanowska, Norfolk County Hall employee)