Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster
Dean & Professor of Moral theology Emeritus
My professional career has encompassed more than 35 years as a pastor, professor and “padre” (a common nickname for military chaplains).
Padre: I retired from the U.S. Army on 1 June 2010 as a chaplain in the rank of Colonel after 24 ½ years of service. The last five, back on active-duty at Ft. McNair, D.C. and Ft. Belvoir, VA, included twelve temporary duty tours in combat areas in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as visits to Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was blessed to receive sixteen military decorations, particularly the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Virginia Bronze Star.
Professor: Prior to my current full-time position at Holy Trinity Seminary, my collegiate teaching experience ranged from a full-time appointment from July to December 2010 as Collegiate Traveling Professor of History and Government for the University of Maryland—University College in Okinawa, Japan, to various part-time positions including, among others, Adjunct Associate Professor of Comparative Religion at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) (2012-2017); Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University Undergraduate Honors Program (2002-2009); Professorial Lecturer of Philosophy and Religion, American University, Washington, DC, (1998-2001); Lecturer in Religion and Philosophy, Hood College, Frederick, Maryland, (1996-1997), and Adjunct Professor in Theology, Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal), Alexandria, Virginia (1989-1998). In addition, I served half-time as Professor of Moral Theology and Academic Dean at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary in South Bound Brook, New Jersey (1993-1996), and founded and directed the Orthodox Studies Project as a Research Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, where I also edited American Orthodoxy, a quarterly newsletter of Orthodox op-ed articles on contemporary social and ethical issues (1988-1993).
Pastor: Concurrent or interspersed with those positions, I have been blessed to serve as parish priest for three Orthodox churches: St. Herman of Alaska Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR), Stafford, Virginia, 2011 – 2017 (until January 2013, Christ the Savior Mission of the Orthodox Church in America); Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church (Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America), Falls Church, Virginia, 1988 – 2005; and St. Mary Orthodox Church (Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America), Clairton, Pennsylvania. 1982 – 1986, following my ordination to the diaconate and priesthood by Bishop Christopher (Kovacevich) of blessed memory in September 1982. Beginning in 1975, I was also privileged to revive or initiate Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) chapters at Harvard University, Carnegie-Mellon University, George Mason University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
I have been married to my matuskha, Kathleen, for more than 45 years. We have four children in their thirties and four grandchildren ranging from Alexa (age 7) to Paige (age 15). Another granddaughter, Emma (9), and I are members of Red Sox Nation, separated from Fenway Park in Boston only by geography.
- A.B. University of Pennsylvania (Summa cum Laude & Phi Beta Kappa), 1972
- M.A. Columbia University Teachers College, 1975
- M.T.S. Harvard University Divinity School, 1977
- Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 1988
- Orthodox Moral Theology & Social Ethics
- Comparative Theology
- Church History
- Great Books in Western Civilization
Current Projects and Research Interests
- Guest speaker at PaTRAM Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary, June 22, 2018: “Music to Soothe the Savage Beast . . . With a Tin Ear”
- Contributing Editor, Another City: A Journal of Orthodox Culture
- THEO 755: Fundamental Moral Theology (graduate)
- HIST 519: Church History I (graduate)
- THEO 448: Comparative Theology
- THEO 456: Moral Theology
- Religions in America (NVCC)
Books and Monographs:
- The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West [co-authored with Dr. Darrell Cole of Drew University]. Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2004.
- The Pacifist Option: The Moral Argument Against War in Eastern Orthodox Theology. Lanham, MD: International Scholars Publications, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 1998.
- The Price of Prophecy: Orthodox Churches on Peace, Freedom, and Security (2d. rev. ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, and Washington, D.C.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company and Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1995.
- The Romanian Legionary Movement: An Orthodox Christian Assessment of Anti-Semitism. Carl Beck Papers No. 502; Pittsburgh: Russian and East European Studies Program, University of Pittsburgh, 1986
Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters:
- "'Benedict,' 'Constantine,' and 'Prophecy: Three Options for the Coming Storm." (To be published in the proceedings from the Jordanville Conference in March 2019 in a book by Holy Trinity Seminary Press in 2020)
- "Do You Know Your Child's Doctor? The Politicization of Pediatrics in America." (To be published in Touchstone magazine in 2019)
- “Icons of the Nuclear Family”, in David C. Ford, Mary C. Ford, and Alfred Kentigern Siewers (eds.), Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage. Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2016, pp. 171-182.
- “Terrorism and Its Civilized Discontents: An Eastern Orthodox Ethical Reflection on Torture as Counter-Terrorism”, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, XXV, No. 4 (July / August 2012), 45-54.
- “Justifiable War as a ‘Lesser Good’ in Eastern Orthodox Moral Tradition”, St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, XLVII, No. 1 (2003), 3-57.
- “Between Western Crusades and Islamic ‘Crescades’”, in Jack Figel (ed.), Byzantine Christianity and Islam. Fairfax, VA: Eastern Christian Publications, Inc., 2002, pp. 181-198.
- "Beyond Byzantium: Eastern Orthodoxy in the American Public Square", St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, XLI, No. 4 (1997), 337-52.
- "An Orthodox Word on Abortion" (in Romanian) in Pe Drumul Credentei Arhimandrit Roman Braga [Festschrift]. Rives Junction, MI: HDM Press, Inc., 1995, pp. 45-63.
- “Kingdoms of God in the Balkans?", East European Quarterly, XVII, No. 4 (January 1993).
- "Paradigms of the Contemporary American Soldier and Women in the Military", Strategic Review, XIX, No. 3 (Summer 1991), 22-30. [Translated into Ukrainian and reprinted as "Problema Imidzhu Suchasnogo Amerikanskogo Soldata i Zhiiki v Armii," Army of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine), No. 8 (August 1993), pp. 31-40.]
- "Evaluating the Neutron Bomb", Global Affairs, IV, No. 2 (Spring 1989), 19-35.
- "Orthodox Mystical Tradition and the Comparative Study of Religion: An Experimental Synthesis", Journal of Ecumenical Studies, XXIII, No. 4 (Fall 1986), 621 49. [Reprinted in Military Chaplains Review (Summer 1987), pp. 115-45.]
- "Just War and Holy War: Two Case Studies in Comparative Christian Ethics", Christian Scholar's Review, XV, No. 4 (1986), 343-71.
- "Toward a More Credible U.S. Nuclear Deterrent", Catholicism in Crisis, III, No. 5 (April 1985), 9-18. [Reprinted as "Toward a Morally Credible U.S. Deterrent," in Zbigniew Brzezinski (ed.), Promise or Peril: The Strategic Defense Initiative. Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1986, pp. 419-39.]
- "The Exemplary Kenotic Holiness of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's The Idiot", St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, XXVIII, No. 3 (1984), 189-216.
- "Antinomical Typologies for an Orthodox Christian Social Ethic for the World, State, and Nation", Greek Orthodox Theological Review, XXVIII, No. 3 (Fall 1983), 221-54.
- "The Revolutionary Plight of Russian Orthodoxy: Struggles and Controversies of the Orthodox Churches in the USSR and the Diaspora Since 1917", The Unitarian Universalist Christian, XXXI, Nos. 3-4 (Autumn/Winter 1976), 71-109. [Co-authored with Professor George Huntston Williams of Harvard University]
Guest Opinion-Editorial Articles & Published Interviews:
- Interview with Alexander Soloviev for Russia in Global Affairs: Протоиерей Александр Уэбстер, «Нам необходимо право на пророчество», Россия в глобальной политике: №1, 2019 г (11 марта 2019). [awaiting English translation]
- “Three Trojan Horses: Insider Attempts to Disorient the Orthodox”, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, XXX, No. 3 (May-June 2017), 16-20
- “Churches Must Oppose Female Conscription”, Crisis Magazine [Co-authored with Robert A. Miller, CAPT, USN, Ret.], May 30, 2016
- "Split Decision: The Orthodox Clash Over Estonia", The Christian Century, CXIII, No. 19 (June 5-12, 1996), 614-23.
- "What the Media Have Missed in Eastern Europe", The Washington Post, July 31, 1990, p. A25. [Reprinted in Newsday, August 9, 1990, p. 69.]
- "Crisis in the Chaplaincy: Where Are the Soldiers of Christ?" Homiletic and Pastoral Review, LXXXIX, No. 10 (July 1989), 48-55.
- "Orthodox Church is Rent Over Dukakis", The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 1988, p. A22.
- "Time and Place in the Healing of the Paralytic" (Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic, Holy Trinity Monastery Cathedral, Jordanville, NY, on May 19, 2019)
- “Never Too Late!” (Homily for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, Holy Trinity Monastery Cathedral, Jordanville, NY, on March 3, 2019)
- “Our Own Personal Cross” (Homily for the Sunday After the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, Holy Trinity Monastery Cathedral, Jordanville, NY, on September 30, 2018)
- “Lilies, Birds, and Dads” (Homily for the Third Sunday After Pentecost, Holy Trinity Monastery Cathedral, Jordanville, NY, on June 17, 2018)
- “The Triumph of Orthodoxy? Not Yet!” (Homily for Sunday of Orthodoxy Pan-Orthodox Vespers, St. Basil Orthodox Church [OCA], Watervliet, NY, on February 25, 2018)