Peter Bouteneff teaches courses in theology, patristics and spirituality at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, where he is Associate Professor in Systematic Theology and Director of Institutional Assessment. After completing a degree in music in 1983 he lived and worked in Japan, and traveled widely in Asia and Greece. He has an M.Div. from St. Vladimir’s Seminary and a doctorate from Oxford University, where he studied under Bishop Kallistos Ware. He has worked for many years in theological dialogue, notably as Executive Secretary for Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches, and has written extensively on Orthodox relations with other churches. His theological interests include Christ, the Church and the human person, but as a great fan of music and cinema he is also committed to exploring the connections between theology and popular culture, and regularly offers a course on religious themes in film. He conceived of and edits the popular “Foundations” series for SVS Press, to which he has contributed a volume on “dogma and truth” called Sweeter than Honey. His most recent book is Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives, published by Baker Academic Press. Along with Prof. Nicholas Reeves, he is co-directing the Arvo Pärt Project, an exciting collaboration with the great Estonian Orthodox composer.
Arvo Pärt (born 1935) is one of those composers whose creative output has significantly changed the way we understand the nature of music. Today, he is known for his unique tintinnabuli style, and although his earlier modernist works are perhaps less known to wider audiences, his entire oeuvre has shifted our perception of music.
Regardless of nationality, cultural background or age, many people have been touched and influenced by the timeless beauty and deep spiritual message of Pärt’s music. His works are performed not only in concert halls, but over recent decades also in film, dance and theatre performances, and other multimedia texts.