Speaking Credentials

Peter Bouteneff has broad experience speaking in different contexts – at academic conferences, universities, places of worship, theaters – small and large, secular and religious.

With training in theology and in music, and through his work with Arvo Pärt — the world's most-performed living composer — he is frequently called upon to discuss the spiritual dimensions of Pärt's music, together with broader themes in the sacred arts.

Born and bred in the Orthodox Christian tradition, an American with deep family roots in Russia and Western Europe, he is often asked to explain the Orthodox Church to non-Orthodox audiences. He is helped in this task by many years of experience in the conferences and institutions that promote the encounter of Christians from different confessional backgrounds.

Explore the list of areas on which he has talks or workshops. Invite him to speak.

Below is a sampling of topics and topic areas on which I have given lectures, informal talks, workshops, retreats.

  • Orthodox Christianity
  • Ancient Christianity
  • Is Theology Even Possible?
  • Who is Jesus, and How do we Know?
  • The Music and Faith of Arvo Pärt
  • Christian Mysticism: The Cappadocians and the Areopagite
  • How to Be a Sinner: Understanding the "Sinner Identity" in Christian Spirituality
  • The Bible: History or Story?
  • Ancient Faith in a Postmodern Setting
  • Genesis: Science and Faith
  • What Genesis 1-3 Meant to the Ancient Christians
  • Ecumenism: The Movement to Unite Christians
  • Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue
  • Fr Arseny: Prisoner, Priest, Man for Our Time
  • Theology and Gender
  • Finding God in Popular Culture
  • Finding Christ in the Movies
  • Saints and Sanctity Yesterday and Today
  • The Holy Fool
  • "Genesis, Creation, and Science," The Eagle River Institute Lectures, Eagle River, Alaska, August 1-5, 2017.
  • “The Words Write my Music,” keynote lecture at Cappella Romana Arvo Pärt Festival, Portland, OR, February 11, 2017.
  • “The Posture of Repentance: Issues in the Performance of Pärt’s Kanon Pokajanen” Westminster Choir College, October 19, 2016.
  • “Arvo Pärt: Engaging a Non - Religious Public on Spiritual Themes,” Cross Roads Alumni Retreat, Brookline, MA, April 16, 2016.
  • “The Least of Sinners,” at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, April 5 , 2016 .
  • "Arvo Pärt Day" - curating and moderating a panel discussion for the New York Choral Society, Mannes School of Music, and The New School, Tishman Auditorium, New York, April 3, 2016. With John Schaefer and Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, April 3, 2016.
  • "Arvo Pärt's Passio," Pre-Concert Lecture, with Jeffers Engelhardt, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, February 21, 2016.
  • "The Estonian Singing Revolution," Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, February 4, 2016.
  • "Beauty in a Time of Darkness: Arvo Part and Theology," at St George's Orthodox Church, Fishers, IN, February 4, 2016.
  • "Arvo Pärt and the Case for an Interdisciplinary Study of the Sacred Arts," Sofia Institute Conference, New York, December 4, 2015.
  • "Nostra Aetate: Views from a Sibling, on Inclusive and Pluralistic Approaches to Other Religions," Lubar Institute Conference, Madison Wisconsin, October 12, 2015.
  • "Can War Ever be Reckoned 'Good'?" Fifth International Conference on Belarusian Studies, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 3, 2015.
  • "The Armenian Genocide, Martyrdom, and Sanctity" at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, New Rochelle, NY, April 25, 2015.
  • "Understanding the Sinner Identity," at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, April 21, 2015.
  • Curate and Moderate Panel Discussion "Journeys in Silence" on Arvo Pärt, with Laurie Anderson, Live Ideas festival, New York Live Arts, April 16, 2015.
  • Five-Session Hybrid Course "The Music and Faith of Arvo Pärt," St. Vladimir's Seminary, January 18-23, 2015.
  • Panelist: "Spirit in Sound and Space—A Conversation Inspired by Arvo Pärt," Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 11, 2014.
  • Panelist: "Arvo Pärt: Music and Spirituality," George Washington University, May 28, 2014.
  • "An Evening with the Arvo Pärt Project," St. Vladimir's Seminary, May 4, 2014.
  • "On Death and Dying," St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, April 6, 2014.
  • Colloquist, Holy Spirit Colloquium, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, January 31, 2014.
  • "Yours it is to Have Mercy," Conference on Divine Compassion, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA, November 15-16, 2014.
  • "Arvo Pärt and Orthodox Spirituality," Amherst College, October 28, 2014.
  • "Christ and Culture," Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Church, Stamford, CT, April 3, 2013.
  • "The Word Celebrated and Received" (in French), at the symposium "La Parole de Dieu appele à l'unité," Benedictine Monastery of Chevetogne, Belgium, November 16-17, 2012.
  • Keynote address, Orthodox Institute: Culture, Morality, Spirituality, Antiochian Village, Ligonier, PA November 1-3, 2012.
  • "'What Do We Do With This?' Ecumenical Implications in the Handling of the Eucharist," Annual Pro Ecclesia Conference, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, June 13, 2012.
  • "Mary in Orthodox Teaching and Worship," Anglican/Orthodox Sub-Committee of the New York Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, May 20, 2012.
  • "Sweeter Than Honey: Living the Truth in an Age of Relativism," Christ the Savior Orthodox Church, Cincinnati, OH, March 31, 2012.
  • "Finding Christ in Popular Culture," St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Wyckoff, NJ, March 28.
  • "Orthodoxy and Ethnicity: Making Sense of the US Orthodox Landscape Today," Keynote Address at the 2012 Huffington Ecumenical Institute, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, March 16, 2012.
  • "Relativism, Tolerance, and Heresy: Negotiating the Waters," Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Ottawa, ON, July 16, 2011.
  • "The Transfiguration of Reason in Dionysius the Ps. Areopagite," Third International Conference of the International Association of Orthodox Dogmatic Theologians, Thessaloniki, June 23-26, 2011.
  • "Orthodox Perspectives on Jesus," Five Cultural Perspectives on Jesus series, Trinity Wall Street, New York, April 5, 2011.
  • "Tradition and the Discernment of Truth," Princeton University Lecture, October 5, 2010.
  • "The Place of Adam in the Paschal Life of the Church," St Mary's Antiochian Church, Cambridge, MA, April 17, 2010.
  • "Genesis 1-3 in Early Christian Understanding," class and public lecture at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, February 1, 2010.
  • "The Theologian is One Who Prays: Theology and Spirituality," New Skete Monastery Annual Pilgrimage, August 8, 2009.
  • "Adam in Modern Orthodox Understanding," Second International Conference of the International Association of Orthodox Dogmatic Theologians, Arad, Romania, June 11-13, 2009.
  • "Discernment in the Early Church," Conference on Spiritual Discernment as Christian Leadership, George Fox University, Newberg, OR, June 1-3, 2009.
  • "Adam, Where Are You? (Gen. 3:9)" 13th Western European Orthodox Congress, Amiens, France, May 1-3, 2009.
  • "Learning from Genesis 1-3," Lenten Retreat, St Jacob of Alaska Orthodox Church, Northfield Falls, VT, April 4-5, 2009.
  • "A Parting of Ways? Christians and Jews in the Early Centuries," Stuart Polly lecturer, with Rabbi Seth Schwartz, at B'nai Jeshurun, New York, NY, February 5, 12, 19, 26, 2009.
  • "Challenges of Orthodox Ecclesiology in the Ecumenical Sphere," Keynote address, North American Academy of Ecumenists, September 26, 2008.
  • Weekend Retreat on Sweeter than Honey, Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross, Medford, NJ, March 29-30, 2008.
  • "Praying the Liturgy," St Vladimir's Seminary Liturgical Institute of Music and Pastoral Practice, June 26, 2007.
  • "Teaching Orthodox Dogmatic Theology in America," International Association of Orthodox Dogmatic Theologians, Arad, Romania, June, 2007.