John Behr | Closer to Truth


John Behr is a contemporary Eastern Orthodox priest and theologian, and Dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he teaches Patristics. He was ordained to the diaconate on September 8, 2001 (the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos) and the priesthood on September 14, 2001 (the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross).

Behr was previously the editor of the Popular Patristic Series released by St. Vladimir's Press. He was elected Dean of the seminary on November 18, 2006 and began his term as Dean on July 1, 2007.

Behr completed his undergraduate studies at Thames Polytechnic, London, in 1987. His Bachelor of Arts dissertation was entitled Of God, Man, and Creation: A Comparative Study of the Anthropology of the Greek Fathers and Emmanuel Levinas. Having studied under Bishop Kallistos (Ware), Behr earned his Master of Philosophy in 1991 and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Theology from Oxford University in 1995. Remnants of his master's thesis, Sexuality, Marriage, and Asceticism in Second-Century Christian Writings can be found in his doctoral dissertation published in 2000 by Oxford University Press under the title Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement. Behr completed a Master of Theology from St Vladimir's in 1997, where he had already been teaching on a full-time basis for two years. His thesis, a complete textual criticism of On the Apostolic Preaching by Irenaeus of Lyons, was subsequently published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.