2022 St Andrew's Patristic Symposium

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St Andrew's 9th Patristic Symposium

 

With the blessing of our College Dean, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Ninth Patristic Symposium will take place at St Andrew's in 2022. The theme of the Symposium is 'Saint Maximus the Confessor: 7th Century Christianity: Theology and History'.

This year’s patristic symposium will therefore honour the life, times and works of this great Father of the Church, both for this unwavering commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and for his contributions to theology, which were utilised by the Sixth Ecumenical Council (AD 680-81) and elaborated upon by later Church Fathers including Saints Symeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas. Thus, standing within patristic tradition, St Maximus remains one of its greatest interpreters.

The symposium will showcase presentations from the different disciplines of Christian theology interested in further reflecting on this central figure of the early Church, irrespective of their field of expertise, academic affiliation or denominational background. Indeed, it is hoped that this cross-disciplinary approach (whether this be, systematic theology, patristics, ethics, biblical studies, church history, liturgics etc.) will contribute by casting further light—indeed a more enriching and holistic perspective—on this most prominent father of the early Church.

Convenors: Professor Jim Harrison and  Associate Professor Philip Kariatlis

 
 

                    

*Program TBA*

 

 
 
 

St Maximus The Confessor: Interpreter of Tradition

St Maximus the Confessor is one of the most significant Byzantine saints in the Orthodox Christian tradition. In scholarly circles the ‘ressourcement’—the ‘return to the sources’ of Christian tradition, namely the patristic ones—spearheaded by scholars such as Hans Urs von Balthasar and Lars Thunburg in the mid-to-late 20th century, witnessed a retrieval of Maximus’ comprehensive theological ouvré that saw his renown and reception skyrocket both in the academy and in ecclesial milieus.

In tradition, the saint is acknowledged as an interpreter of tradition: he not only managed a unique synthesis of Platonic and Aristotelian categories within a comprehensive Christ-centred worldview, but he engaged and clarified difficult sayings in the writings of St Gregory the Theologian, expanded upon the thought of St Gregory of Nyssa, and wrote extensively on the nature of the Church, asceticism, and self-sacrificial love in Christ and the life of holiness.

It was the latter that he embodied as he humbly witnessed to the duality of Christ’s wills, both divine and human—i.e. dyothelitism—when the Byzantine empire lapsed into the heresy of monothelitism, the belief that Christ has only one, divine will. St Maximus’ response to this heresy was a logical extension of the formulations of previous Fathers and ecumenical councils who affirmed the belief in one Christ in two natures, and the salvific implications of this for all Christians. For this response he was terribly persecuted and mutilated, dying as a confessor in AD 662, yet—like the martyrs—becoming an immediate participant in and intercessor to our Lord Jesus Christ.

This year’s patristic symposium will therefore honour the life and works of this great Father of the Church, both for this unwavering commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and for his contributions to theology, which were utilised by the sixth ecumenical council and elaborated upon by later Church Fathers including saints Symeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas. Thus, standing within patristic tradition, St Maximus remains one of its greatest interpreters.

 

St Maximus left many writings (some of which are collected in the Philokalia) that are still widely read today; some are doctrinal, but many more describe the contemplative life and offer spiritual advice. He also wrote widely on liturgical and exegetical subjects. His theological work was later continued by St. Symeon the New Theologian and by St. Gregory Palamas.

His writings include:

  • Quaestiones ad Thalassium—65 questions and answers on difficult passages of Holy Scripture
  • Ambigua—an exegetical work on St. Gregory the Theologian
  • Paraphrases of the works of Dionysius the Areopagite (though many of the works that have come down under Maximus' name are now held to be the work of John of Scythopolis, who wrote in the first half of the 6th century, some 100 years before Maximus)
  • Several dogmatic treatises against the Monothelites
  • Liber Asceticus
  • Capita de Caritate
  • Mystagogia—a mystical interpretation of the Divine Liturgy

 

 

 

 

 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

'The Game of God: Our Growth in Christ'

Select Bibliography

  • John the Theologian and His Paschal Gospel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)
  • Origen On First Principles, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • Irenaeus of Lyons: Identifying Christianity, Christian Theology in Context (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Becoming Human: Meditations on Christian Anthropology in Word and Image (Crestwood, NY, SVS Press, 2013)
  • St Athanasius: On the Incarnation, translation and introduction, Popular Patristics Series (Crestwood, NY, SVS Press, 2011)
  • The Case Against Diodore and Theodore: Texts and Their Contexts, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 526pp.
  • The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 2006). 186 pp.
  • The Nicene Faith,vol. 2 of The Formation of Christian Theology (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 2004). 2 vols in paper; single hardcover volume 580 pp.
  • The Way to Nicaea, vol. 1 of The Formation of Christian Theology (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2001). 261 pp.
  • Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 261 pp.
  • St Irenaeus of Lyons: On the Apostolic Preaching (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1997). 121 pp.

 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

'St Maximus the Confessor and the Mystery of the Love of God'

 Select Bibliography

  • Salvation’s Folly: Visions and Faces of the Tragic in Early Christian Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020) (forthcoming)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation, co-editor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)
  • Moral Formation and the Virtuous Life (Philadelphia: Fortress, Press, 2019)
  • Maximus the Confessor: Jesus Christ and the Transfiguration of the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • Exegesis and Spiritual Pedagogy in Maximus the Confessor (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991).
  • On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ: Selected Writings of St. Maximus the Confessor (Crestwood, N.Y.: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2003).

  

 

 

 

TBA*

 

 

 

 

TBA*

 

 

 - Registrations are open to all -

- We welcome those from all faiths and backgrounds to "come and see" -

- Please mail your registration to St Andrew's, or simply email the document to [email protected] -

- The Event Program will be organized and posted at a later date -

 

- We welcome any enquiries to [email protected] -

- We look forward to seeing you there -

 

 

 

Questions?

Email us at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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