Photos by Mr M. Baghos
Convened by the Very Revd Dr Doru Costache and Dr Philip Kariatlis, St Andrew's Patristic Symposium on St Cyril of Alexandria, which was held on the 20-21 September at the Theological College, was a huge success. Opened by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis with prayer and introductory remarks, keynote speaker Professor Pauline Allen, FAHA (Director of the Centre for Early Christian Studies, ACU Brisbane, QLD) then ushered us into the world of the saint with her presentation on 'St Cyril of Alexandria: Exegete, Politician, or Pastor?' This was followed by the Very Revd Dr Doru Costache's presentation on 'Adam as a Hesychast in Saints Athanasius the Great, Cyril of Alexandria, Gregory Palamas, and Silouan the Athonite,' which gave us insights into the hesychastic disposition of these figures. Next, keynote speaker Professor David Bradshaw (Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY, USA ) offered a tremendous account of 'The Philosophical Theology of St Cyril's Against Julian,' which was followed by Dr Adam G. Cooper's (JP II Institute, Melbourne) insightful talk on 'Christology in the Concrete: Cyril of Alexandria's Answer to the Problem of Theological Abstraction.' The sessions were then split in two, with Mrs Rebecca Burgess (Bishopdale Theological College, NZ) deftly presenting on 'Trinitarian Hermeneutics in Hilary of Potier's Commentary on the Psalms' in the College Hall, and Mr Anthony Papantoniou expounding 'The Theandric Mystery of Christ in St Cyril of Alexandria' in the hall of the Cathedral of the Annunciation. The two final talks for day one were held in the College hall, firstly by Dr Anita Strezova (Independent Researcher affiliated with ANU) who spoke on 'The Doctrine of Apophaticism and Deification in the Alexandrian and Antiochian Traditions,' and secondly, by Dr Philip Kariatlis, who expanded on his previous work in Athanasian soteriology with his paper 'Towards a Comprehensive Soteriology for Today: Implications of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ in St Athanasius' De Incarnatione.'
The second day was initiated by Dr Bernard (Patrikios) Doherty's (Independent researcher affiliated with Macquarie) presentation on 'Cyril and Hypatia: The Social Construction and Maintenance of an Anti-Christian Myth' which was well received. Next, more parallel sessions in both the College hall and the Cathedral hall: in the hall of the College, Revd Jonathan Hicks (PhD Candidate, Otago) spoke on 'St Cyril on the Role of Christ's Humanity in the Age to Come'; Revd Hugh Bowron (Vicar, St Peter's Caversham, NZ) on 'Robert Jensen's Radical Cyrillian Christology: How Radical, How Cyrillian, How Orthodox?'; and the Very Revd Archimandrite Kyrillos Zisis (MTh Student, St Andrew's) on 'Nature and Grace in St Maximus the Confessor's To Thalassius 59.' In the Cathedral hall, Revd Jeremy Krieg spoke on 'Appropriating St Gregory the Dialogist: An Orthodox Perspective'; Mr Kevin Wagner (PhD Candidate, JP II Institute) on 'Theophilus of Alexandria and the Episcopal Ordination of Synesius of Cyrene'; and Mr Mario Baghos (Associate Lecturer, St Andrew's) on 'Ecclesial Memory and Secular History in the Conflicting Representations of Cyril of Alexandria - An Apology for the Saint.' Finally, everyone was ushered into the College hall for the last paper by Mr Andrew Mellas (PhD Candidate, Sydney) on '"The Passion of his Flesh": St Cyril of Alexandria and the Emotions of the Logos.' After a short lunch break, co-convener Dr Philip Kariatlis thanked everyone for attending, and co-convener the Very Revd Dr Doru Costache announced the topic for next year's symposium, which is 'From Alexandria to Cappadocia and Back Again' (26-27 September 2014 - more details to come). Since Dr Kariatlis will, with His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos' blessing, be convening the inaugural St Andrew's 'Theology' Symposium in 2015, Fr Doru announced that for next year's Patristic Symposium he will be joined by Dr Adam G. Cooper, long time friend and supporter of the College, as co-convener.