Halki Summit II – A Word of Welcome


From His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
(Originally published May 2015)

Dear Friends,

We welcome you to the webpage for Halki Summit II, which was held from June 8-10, 2015, on the quaint island of Halki, a site of great importance for the Orthodox Church and just a short ferry ride from Istanbul in Turkey.

Organized under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and co-sponsored by Southern New Hampshire University, Halki Summit II focused on the theme: “Theology, Ecology, and the Word: a conversation on the environment, literature and the arts.” The goal was to discern the literary and philosophical roots of our concern for a balanced and sustainable environment.

We were especially delighted to host such prominent keynote speakers as Ms. Terry Tempest Williams (poet and author), Terry Eagleton (literary theorist and critic), Prof. Timothy Gorringe (theologian and apiculturist), Dr. Raj Patel (author and activist), and James Balog (mountaineer and photographer). These and other esteemed guests deliberated on a topic not discussed enough in environmental or theological circles, namely the relationship of nature and the arts – including literature and poetry, music and photography, as well as food and culture – but also the place and power of the arts to influence our values, beliefs and actions in defense of God’s creation.

Moreover, beyond the participation of authors and artists from around the world, we shared highlights of this critical dialogue through this website and other social media.

We fervently believe that any chance of reversing climate change and the depletion of the earth’s resources requires first and foremost a radical change in values and beliefs in order that people can include the ethical and spiritual dimension of environmental sustainability in their lives and practices.

Prayerfully yours,

Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch