Dame Mary Tanner

Dame Mary Tanner

‘The Orthodox have been major contributors to the ecumenical movement of the twentieth century and continue to be so today. Orthodox scholars and church leaders have made important contributions to the work of the World Council of Churches, not least of all to the Faith and Order Commission which seeks to understand and overcome things that keep churches apart. They are also involved in many bilateral dialogues and national and regional councils of churches. As a result, many Christians have come to treasure gifts they have received from Eastern Christianity.
The Cambridge Theological Federation is blessed to have the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies as one of its member institutions opening up, for those studying for ministry or undertaking research, the riches of Orthodox thought, art and liturgy. Many alumni of the Federation speak with gratitude for this when looking back at their time in the Federation.
The plan that IOCS now has to set up a Lectureship in Orthodox and Ecumenical Studies is an exciting one with the potential of strengthening further the Orthodox contribution within the Federation but much more widely as well. It deserves support. I know how much my own life and work has been enriched by encountering Eastern Christian thought and spirituality.’

Dame Mary Elizabeth Tanner, DBE is an academic specialising in the Old Testament, very well-known in ecumenical circles. She was European President of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 2006 to 2013 and has been a member of the WCC Faith and Order Commission since 1974, serving as its moderator from 1991 to 1998. Dame Mary Tanner was a lecturer in the Old Testament and Hebrew at the Universities of Hull and Bristol, and a lecturer in the Old Testament at Westcott House, the Anglican theological college in Cambridge. In 1988 and in 1998, she was a visiting professor at the General Theological Seminary, an Episcopal theological college in New York City, United States, and in 2000, she was a visiting professor at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Pontifical university in Rome, Italy. In the 2008 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) “for services to the worldwide Anglican Communion”.