General News

Fr. Stanley S. Harakas, Distinguished Theologian and Beloved Teacher

Spring Hill, FL – The Rev. Stanley S. Harakas, passed away June 23, 2020 in Spring Hill Florida where he has lived since retiring in 1995. He was one of the most learned a priests of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – a distinguished teacher of Orthodox Theology and a significant resource in Orthodox ethics.

Also from October, 1997 to March, 2004, he was a columnist for The National Herald.

He was born and baptized with the name ‘Stylianos’ anglicized to Stanley, on January 13, 1932 to Sam (Spyridon) Harakas and Katherine (Moraites) Harakas in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended elementary school in Wilkinsburg, PA, graduating from Wilkinsburg, PA High School in 1949.

He received his undergraduate and theology degrees from Holy Cross and in 1965 he earned his Doctor of Theology (ThD) from Boston University. In 1966 he began teaching at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He was also Visiting Professor at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in New York, Boston University School of Theology, John the 23rd Center in New York City, Boston College Department of Theology, and Emmanuel College in Boston, and has lectured at the University of Thessalonike. In 1986 he was appointed to the first endowed chair at Holy Cross as Archbishop lakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology. He served as Dean of Hellenic College for five years, and Dean of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for ten years (1970 to 1980). During this time, both schools were accredited and new degree programs established.

A member of numerous professional societies, he had served some of them as an officer. He was President of the Orthodox Theological Society, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Christian Ethics. In 1988 he was elected to membership in the American Theological Society. Fr. Harakas was the inaugural recipient, in 1981, of the Archbishop lakovos Faculty Award. In 1986 he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Boston University School of Theology. In May, 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Fr. Stanley was a Plenary Speaker at the Seventh General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia, and from1990 to 1998 served as a Commissioner of the WCC Unit ilion – Justice, Peace and Creation. He served as co-chair of the Orthodox Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion from 1992 to 1998.

Fr. Harakas was the author of five pamphlets and fifteen books, both scholarly and popular, and over one hundred thirty published scholarly articles and book contributions. He is the author of Toward Transfigured Life: The “Theoria” of Eastern Orthodox Ethic; Living the Faith: The “Praxis” of Eastern Orthodox Ethics; Health and Medicine in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition; Let Mercy Abound: Social Concern in the Greek Orthodox Church; Contemporary Moral Issues Facing the Orthodox Christian; Of Life and Salvation; Wholeness of Faith and Life: Eastern Orthodox Ethics (3 vols.). Orthodox Christian Beliefs: Real Answers to Real Questions from Real People.

His most recent book was vol. 2 of the series Exploring Orthodox Christianity, Orthodox Christian Beliefs About the Bible: Real Answers to Real Questions from Real People (2002).

Since 1985 he has authored the article On the “Orthodox Church” in the annual supplement to The World Book Encyclopedia and, from1992-1999, wrote a similar article for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. For twenty-one years (1980-2000), he was a weekly columnist in the national Greek-American newspaper, The Hellenic Chronicle. In 1989 he received a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and in 1990 a grant from the Association of Theological Schools to work on an unpublished Greek manuscript. He had been a columnist and is a contributor to the Orthodox Observer. From 1997 to 1999 he was Editor of The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, published by the Faculty of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He was elected Courtesy Associate Professor by the Religion Department of the University of South Florida for the 1997-98 and 1998-99 academic years. He was a member of the Education Committee of the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture and in March, 2000 was appointed Honorary Professor of the Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies at Tampa’s University of South Florida. Since 2002 he had been a Guest Editorial writer for The Hellenic Voice, published in Boston, MA.

Fr. Stanley Harakas had served as a priest in parishes in Lancaster, PA, Peabody, MA, Lexington, MA, and Newburyport, MA. In each there were significant building programs during his tenure. He also served as Sunday supply priest at Holy Trinity Church in Lowell, MA, St. Nicholas Church in Enfield, CT. and the mission parish of Saint Gregory the Theologian, in Sharon (now Mansfield), MA. He was called out of retirement to serve the Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Mission of Hernando County of the Metropolis of Atlanta, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is in the process of constructing a new church and parish hall in Spring Hill, FL.

He was married to the former Emily G. Maniates of Boston, MA. They had five children.

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta officiated at his Funeral Service and George Cantonis president of Hellenic College – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology represented the Schools.



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