On October 23, 2023, Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary held a public lecture. Ivan Ulitchev, Doctor of the Department of Systematic Theology and Philosophy in Don Theological Seminary, delivered the lecture on the topic: “Personal Theology and Orthodox Tradition”. In his talk, the researcher reviewed the ancient and the Christian teachings about a human being. He spoke about the essence of a person as an individual who has his free will and noted that the perception of the essence of a person became possible only with the doctrine which proclaimed that the world and man are creations of the Supreme God. Ivan Ulitchev spoke about the concepts - an individual and a personality: “Until we free ourselves from an egocentric limitation of our own “self”, we remain only individuals but not persons. When we take the path of deification, i.e., when we are freed from the limitations of our individual existence and our hearts are filled with love - we devote ourselves to God and to the neighbor, that is when a person is born. In other words, we find ourselves when the “myself” encounters the “You” of God and the “you” of our neighbor, because it is precisely in the process of deification, which we have been created for, when we can open our hearts to each other completely, sincerely and without selfishness.”
Doctor Ulitchev spoke about the importance of words and deeds in the life of a Christian and ended his speech with the following words: “I want to say that the spiritual experience of the Orthodox Church gives priority not to words (although the power of words based on experience is very important), but to life itself in God, communion with Him.”
The speaker quoted the words of Saint Isidore of Pelusium: “A godly life without words is more beneficial than words without a righteous life. Because remaining silent helps you and shouting is a hindrance. But if the word and the deed agree with each other, it is already the highest philosophy.
The topic of the lecture was very interesting for the audience. The speaker comprehensively answered their questions.