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Archbishop Demetrios Received Distinguished Tanenbaum Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding

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  • Jun 8, 2008

    New York, NY - His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, received the distinguished Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding at the Gotham Hall in New York City on Monday, June 11, 2007.

    The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding is a non-sectarian organization that addresses unresolved tensions by helping to change behaviors in religiously-diverse workplaces, schools and in areas of armed conflict. The Center has earned a global reputation for promoting tolerance and harmony among people of different faiths. Previous recipients include the names of national and international personalities such as Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Elie Wiesel, Prince El Hassan bin Talal, President Bill Clinton, and Archbishop Iakovos.

    In her introduction, Dr. Georgette F. Bennett, Founder and President of the Tanenbaum Center, praised Archbishop Demetrios “for his humility, scholarship, and love for people of all races and religions.” She acknowledged the work of the Archbishop for promoting inter-religious understanding by exclaiming the Greek word "AXIOS"” (he is worthy)!

    "I am grateful for the work of the Tanenbaum Center," said Archbishop Demetrios, "and I am deeply humbled for the great honor you bestow upon me." In his remarks, His Eminence outlined four reasons why the award was of particular significance to him, namely the legacy of interfaith work pursued by Rabbi Tanenbaum himself, the close relationship of Hellenism and Hebrewism, the accomplishments of the Tanenbaum Center as an educational institution, and his childhood experience of the Jewish persecution by the Nazis in Thessalonika, Greece. Archbishop Demetrios concluded by reading in the original Hebrew language a verse from the 133rd Psalm that states: "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!"

    His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned as the spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians in America in 1999, becoming the sixth Archbishop of America. The goals of his ministry include teaching the practice of limitless love and philanthropy and emphasizing, pursuing, and enhancing the establishment of an unbreakable unity within the human community. Archbishop Demetrios received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972 and a Th.D. in Theology from the University of Athens in 1977. From 1984 to 1985 and 1988 to 1989 he taught as a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School and from 1983 to 1993 as a distinguished professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. A member abroad of the Academy of Athens, Archbishop Demetrios has received several honorary degrees from various universities here and abroad. A prolific writer, H.E. Archbishop Demetrios has published six major books: Presence of the Holy Spirit (1984), Authority and Passion (1987), The Transcendent God of Eugnostos (1991), Christ, the Pre-existing God (1992), The Fathers Interpret (1996), and A Call to Faith (2004).

    Contact: Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos
    Cell: 617-680-7222

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