Patristic Symposium 2014

The sixth St Andrew's patristic symposium was on the theme:

From Alexandria to Cappadocia and Back Again

Symbolising the two traditions, of Alexandria and Cappadocia, the icon represents (from left to right) St Athanasius the Great, St Gregory of Nyssa, St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian and St Cyril of Alexandria.
Artwork by Ion Nedelcu (2013)


Held at the College on 26-27 September, 2014, the symposium primarily explored the connections between the Alexandrian and the Cappadocian traditions in Late Antiquity, more precisely the ways in which the two centres influenced each other. 

Its keynote speakers were:

  • Topic: "Mystics and Mountains:  Comparing Origen’s Exegesis of the Transfiguration and Gregory of Nyssa’s Exposition of the Sinai Theophany"
  • Paul M. Blowers is the Dean E. Walker Professor of Church History at Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Johnson City, Tennessee, USA. Educated principally in early Christian studies, his specialization is early and Byzantine Christianity. Dr. Blowers holds the B.A. magna cum laude from Milligan College (1977), the M.Div. from Emmanuel Christian Seminary (1982), and the M.A. (1986) and Ph.D. (1988) from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a John O’Brien Fellow. He is a past President of the North American Patristics Society, and has been actively involved in that society for over twenty years, and has regularly participated in the quadrennial International Conferences on Patristic Studies at Oxford University. He has authored Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety (Oxford University Press, 2012), Exegesis and Spiritual Pedagogy in Maximus the Confessor (University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), and translated On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ: Selected Writings of St. Maximus the Confessor (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2003). He has edited The Bible in Greek Christian Antiquity (University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), and co-edited three other books, including In Dominico Eloquio / In Lordly Eloquence: Essays on Patristic Exegesis in Honor of Robert Louis Wilken (Eerdmans, 2003). He is currently co-editing, with Peter Martens, The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation.

  • Topic: "Signs of Theosis in Synesius of Cyrene"
  • Bronwen Neil is Assistant Director of the Centre for Early Christian Studies at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a former Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. Neil has published widely on Maximus the Confessor, Pope Martin I, Anastasius Bibliothecarius, and Pope Leo I, as well as on poverty and welfare in late antiquity. She co-edited with Pauline Allen the Greek and Latin biographical documents on Maximus the Confessor (CCSG 39, Turnhout–Leuven, 1999), and translated the same documents with Pauline Allen (Oxford Early Christian Texts, Oxford, 2002). She also co-edited and translated the Greek Life of Maximus the Confessor (Early Christian Studies, Strathfield, 2003). She is co-editor of the Brill Companion to Pope Gregory the Great (Leiden, 2013), and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Maximus the Confessor, and is current president of the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies.


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