This issue we hear from four Old Members who are in retirement as they reflect on their time at Christ Church and their subsequent careers.
EMERITUS PROF. BASIL ANAGNOSTOPOULOS (1947)
I was a postgraduate student at Oxford, who undertook, immediately upon my return to my home country, lecturing duties at a young age and then at the peak of my career I was forced into retirement at a still reasonably young age, under circumstances outside my control.
I matriculated in October 1947 as a Postgraduate student in the Faculty of Theology for the degree of B.Litt in Patristics, which I received in June 1950. I was member of the House for 9 terms. My supervisor was the Rev Professor F. L. Cross who lived at Prior House of Christ Church. When I was supporting my thesis on “A study of the life and writings of St. John of Damascus”, my examiners were the Rev Professor C. Jenkins and the Warden of Keble College H. J. Carpenter.
I was appointed a lecturer at Halki Theological School from which I graduated in 1946. This School is an old institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul. This School was functioning from 1844 and was sadly closed by the Turkish government in 1971 after the latter’s decision to close all private academic institutions in the country. So, after 21 years of teaching as a Professor, I was obliged to leave Istanbul in 1980 and come and settle here in Athens, Greece.
In 1982, my withdrawal from the academic and lecturing career compelled me to accept the presidency of the Halki Theological School Graduates/Alumni Association (www.estiahalkis.org), which is based in Athens. I still have today quite an active role along with the members, in the running of the Association, publishing scientific works; as well as fighting for the support of the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the rights of the Greek minority and ultimately and quite dear to all our members’ hearts, the reopening of the Halki Theological School. So at the age of 86, I am not retired yet! If anything, sometimes I feel that during the last 27 years as president of the Alumni, I have been busier than when I was an academic lecturer for 21 years.
It is one of my very burning desires to see the Halki Theological School of Halki reopen its doors to fresh students. I spent seven whole years of my life studying before going up to Oxford and later another 21 years lecturing there. For fellow members interested in the plight of the School there is a bilingual website about the School and information on our Association’s struggle to have it reopen
Returning home from Oxford I took back a lot of beneficial values of English scholarship and very happy memories of my stay at Oxford and in particular Christ Church. I have always tried to pass on the traditions and English scholarship values to my students. My love and affinity toward Christ Church and Oxford has always been determinedly strong.