Kallistos Ware

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Kallistos Ware speaking at Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Oakland, California
Born (1934-09-11) 11 September 1934
Bath, Somerset, England
Other names Timothy
Education Westminster School; Magdalen College, Oxford
Church Eastern Orthodox Church, Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain
Ordained 1966 (priest and monk), 1982 (Bishop of Diokleia)
Writings The Orthodox Church (1993, ISBN 0-14-014656-3), The Orthodox Way (1979, ISBN 0-264-66578-3), et al.
Title Metropolitan of Diokleia

Kallistos Ware (born Timothy Ware on 11 September 1934) is an English bishop within the Eastern Orthodox Church under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and one of the best-known contemporary Eastern Orthodox theologians. From 1982 he has held the Titular Bishopric of Diokleia. In 2007 the bishopric was made a titular metropolitan bishopric.

From 1966 to 2001, Ware was Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at the University of Oxford. He has authored numerous books and articles pertaining to the Orthodox Christian faith.

Early life and ordination

Born Timothy Ware in Bath, Somerset, England, he was educated at Westminster School in London (to which he had won a King's Scholarship) and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took a double first in classics as well as reading theology. On 14 April 1958, at the age of 24, he embraced the Orthodox Christian faith (having been raised Anglican), travelling subsequently throughout Greece and spending a great deal of time at the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos. He also frequented other major centres of Orthodoxy such as Jerusalem and Mount Athos. While still a layman, he spent six months in Canada at a monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. In the 1964 edition of his book The Orthodox Church, Ware is described as "working in Montreal with the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile".[1] In 1966 he was ordained to the priesthood within the Ecumenical Patriarchate and was tonsured as a monk, receiving the name "Kállistos".

Professional and academic life

In 1966 Ware became a Spalding Lecturer at the University of Oxford in Eastern Orthodox studies, a position he held for 35 years until his retirement. In 1970 he was appointed to a fellowship at Pembroke College, Oxford, and in 1982 he was consecrated to the episcopacy as an auxiliary bishop with the title "Bishop of Diokleia", appointed to serve as the assistant to the bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. Despite his consecration, Ware remained in Oxford and carried on his duties both as the parish priest of the Greek Orthodox community and also as a lecturer at the university.

Since his retirement in 2001, Ware has continued to publish and to give lectures on Orthodox Christianity. He was previously the chairman of the board of directors of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge. He is the chairman of the group Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona and of the Friends of Mount Athos.

On 30 March 2007 the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevated the Diocese of Diokleia to a metropolitan diocese and thus Ware became a titular metropolitan even though he has never had pastoral care of any diocese and is nominally an assistant bishop in the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.


Ware is perhaps best known as the author of the book The Orthodox Church, published when he was a layman in 1963 and subsequently revised several times. In 1979 he produced a companion volume, The Orthodox Way. But his most substantial publications have emerged from his translation work. Together with G. E. H. Palmer and Philip Sherrard he has undertaken to translate the Philokalia (four volumes of five published as of 2016); and with Mother Mary he produced the Lenten Triodion and Festal Menaion.

Partial bibliography

Ware has also co-authored, edited and translated many other works.


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