Patristic Symposia

St Andrew's Patristic Symposia


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)

The general purpose of our initial patristic symposia is to explore the immediate theological and spiritual roots of the Byzantine tradition.
In order to achieve this goal, it was only natural to begin with the Cappadocian Fathers, as it is likewise natural to initiate an analysis of the Alexandrine milieu, which contributed decisively to the shaping of the Byzantine spirit. The 2014 symposium will continue to contemplate the two traditions, namely, Alexandrine and Cappadocian, in their togetherness.
Whilst pursuing our goal of understanding the roots of the Byzantine tradition, we hope to revive the interest of the broader public - both academic and ecclesial - in the study of the Church Fathers. The growing number of scholars interested to present, together with the international acknowledgment of the symposia, prove the importance of our undertaking.
Conveners: Very Revd Dr Doru Costache and Dr Adam G. Cooper

Patristic Symposium 2014

Download the Poster and Call for Papers 
Download the Registration Form (PDF) (Word)
St Andrew's Patristic Symposium 2014 on the theme 
From Alexandria to Cappadocia and Back Again 
will be held on Friday and Saturday, 26 and 27 September, 2014 
Keynote Speakers 

  • 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: "The Cappadocian Fathers and the Legacy of Alexandrian Biblical Interpretation"

  • 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.
  • Topic: "From Alexandria to Cappadocia and Back Again via Rome?"
The symposium primarily explores the connections between the Alexandrian and the Cappadocian traditions in Late Antiquity, more precisely the ways in which the two centres influenced each other. Papers focused on particular figures are likewise welcomed. For the papers focused on particular figures, they can address the life, personality and contributions of the earlier Alexandrines and St Athanasius, the Cappadocians and St Cyril, from various perspectives, such as historical, theological, literary, spiritual etc. Papers on events, persons and writings directly or indirectly related to the above are also welcome. We welcome, likewise, papers on Church Fathers that are not connected with either Alexandria or Cappadocia.
Research students and early career academics are welcome.

Proposals should be submitted to Very Rev. Dr Doru Costache at by 30 April 2014. Proposals should contain the contributor’s name and title, their institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone number, email address, preliminary title of paper and a brief abstract (150-200 words) that states the aim, method and contribution of the proposed paper.

Non-PhD contributors and contributors whose first language is not English whose proposals are approved should submit their papers in full by 31 July 2014. The panel reserves the right to decline papers that do not meet scholarly standards.
After the reviewing process, the resulting papers will be published in any of the two annual editions of our journal, Phronema, the second one being entirely dedicated to the symposium.


  • A collective volume containing select peer reviewed articles from 2009-2011 symposia, dedicated to the Cappadocian Fathers, was published in 2013. Edited by Doru Costache and Philip Kariatlis, the volume is produced by St Andrew's Orthodox Press. A second volume resulting from the 2012 and 2013 symposia, dedicated to the Alexandrian Fathers, is scheduled for publication in late 2014 or early 2015.