Stylianos Harkianakis (Greek: Στυλιανός Χαρκιανάκης) is the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. He serves as inaugural and permanent Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia and Dean of Saint Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College. He is a world-renowned theologian, specialising in ecclesiology. He is also an awarded poet.
Archbishop Stylianos was born in Rethymno, in the island of Crete, Greece on the 29th of December, 1935. He studied theology at the Theological School of Halki, on the island of Halki and graduated in 1958. He and was ordained deacon in 1957 and priest in 1958. He completed postgraduate studies in systematic theology and philosophy of religion in Bonn, West Germany, during 1958 to 1966. His lecturers included Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Father Stylianos wrote his thesis on the concept that the Orthodox Church possessed infallibility when it acted together in conciliarity (e.g. the Ecumenical Councils). At that time, the idea of infallibility was thought to be an exclusively Roman Catholic idea, entirely alien to the Orthodox Church.
In 1965, whilst still completing his postgraduate studies, Father Stylianos was declared Professor of Theology at the University of Athens. In 1966, he was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Vlatodon, in Thessaloniki. He was a founding member, then became vice-president, and later president, of the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies within the monastery. From 1969 to 1975, Abbot Stylianos lectured in Systematic Theology at the University of Thessaloniki.
In 1970, Abbot Stylianos was elected the Titular Metropolitan of Militoupolis (whilst remaining in the Holy Monastery of Vlatodon) as Exarch in matters concerning Northern Greece and Mt. Athos.
Archbishop of Australia
In 1975, Metropolitan Stylianos was elected Archbishop of Australia, Exarch of Oceania. In this role, he engaged in many dialogues between Orthodoxy and other Christian groups, most prominently as co-chairman of the Theological Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, but also as co-chairman of the dialogue with the Anglican Church.
Archbishop Stylianos has taught Orthodox Theology and Spirituality at Sydney University since 1975. In 1986, the Archbishop became inaugural Dean of the Theological College of St Andrew where he also serves as Lecturer of Systematic Theology.
In 1973, he was awarded the International Award Gottfried von Herder (1973). A renowned poet with an extensive bibliography, Archbishop Stylianos was given the Award for Poetry from the Academy of Athens in 1980, and in 1985 he received an Honourary Doctorate from Lublin University, Poland. One of his poems, "After Ephialtes", was set to music by Costas Tsicaderis.
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