I was drawn to the life of the Church for as long as I can remember. At the age of fourteen, I moved out of my hometown to enrol in a theological high school in the city of Tȃrgovişte. My passion for theology then took me to Bucharest, where I completed my Bachelor degree and further on obtained my Masters.
My PhD studies had me travel all the way to Scotland in pursuit of my calling. In Aberdeen, everything changed: I was an Orthodox scholar in a whole new environment, where less than 1% of the population shared in my beliefs. Everything I had taken for granted since an early age was to be seen in a new light. A light that has helped me put things into perspective and grow spiritually and academically more than I could have ever imagined. By being away from the spiritual comforts of my majoritarian Orthodox homeland, I gained a better understanding and acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of my own tradition, along with a renewed appreciation for the moderate wisdom of Father Dumitru Stăniloae.
My PhD thesis and much of my later work endeavoured to point out how Fr Stăniloae’s wisdom can help Orthodoxy deal better with some of its contemporary challenges. My attempt at drawing an Orthodox ecumenical ecclesiology aimed to follow Stăniloae’s view that it is the responsibility of the Orthodox Church to lead the world towards its union with God and that this responsibility cannot manifest itself otherwise than through dialogue.
My current research focuses on one of the blind spots of Orthodox theology: disability. I am interested in developing an Orthodox understanding of human perfection that takes into account the experience of persons with profound cognitive disabilities. My hope is that this project will not only lead to the integration of profound intellectual disabilities within the Church, but also help us see them in a different light: not as instruments of our own redemption, but as vessels of God’s revelation.