Theology Symposium 2015

The theme of the Inaugural Theology Symposium was:


The Earth is the Lord’s:

Environmental Theology and Ethics


(Iconography: From the Chapel of St John the Theologian, St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College)

The Symposium was held on 9 – 10 October, 2015 and primarily explored the sacred depths of creation not only from within different disciplines of theology but also different Christian traditions.

View Abstracts

Keynote Speaker 1

Revd Dr John Chryssavgis

Keynote Address

On Earth as in Heaven: The Theological Roots of our Ecological Crisis

The Revd Dr John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne, is Theological Advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on Environmental Issues. As a clergyman of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, he also serves as theological advisor in the office of Inter-Orthodox and ecumenical relations.

As founding Sub-Dean of our Theological College (1986-1994), the community of St Andrew’s is especially delighted that Fr John will be with us for these few days and looks forward to being stimulated and challenged by his address. 

A prolific author and spokesman for Orthodoxy today; Fr John has co-edited the signature anthology on Orthodoxy and the environment,

  • Towards an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature and Creation, New York: Fordham University Press, 2013.

Other titles of some of his books further indicate how familiar he is with the Symposium Theme:

  • The Patriarch of Solidarity: ecological and global concerns of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, In Greek and English: Istos Books, Istanbul, 2013.
  • On Earth as in Heaven: Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.
  • In the World, Yet Not of the World: Social and Global Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Fordham University Press, New York, 2009.
  • Cosmic Grace Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009.

Keynote Speaker 2

Revd Professor Denis Edwards

Keynote Address

Earth as God’s Creation:  A Theological Exploration of Pope Francis’s Recent Teaching

Revd Professor Denis Edwards taught theology at Flinders University in Adelaide before joining ACU at the beginning of 2014. He is a priest of the archdiocese attached to Tranmere parish. His post-graduate studies were at Fordham in New York and The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, where his doctoral supervisor was Avery Dulles, and his dissertation was on the dynamics in faith in John of the Cross and Karl Rahner.

In recent years he has taught mainly in Christology, Trinity and some ecclesiology. In the light of evolutionary science, and because of the ecological crisis we face, he has been exploring a theology of the natural world and trying to ground it in the heart of Christian faith.

He is a leading Roman Catholic theologian in Australia on ecological issues.

Some of his titles include:

  • Partaking of God: Trinity, Evolution and Ecology, Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press, 2014
  • Jesus and the Natural World: Explaining a Christian Approach to Ecology, Mulgrave: John Garratt Publishing, 2012
  • How God Acts: Creation, Redemption and Special Divine Action, Hindmarsh: ATF Press, 2010.
  • Ecology at the Heart of Faith, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2006.
  • Earth Revealing-Earth Healing: Ecology and Christian Theology, Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press, 2001.

Keynote Speaker 3

Revd Dr Michael Trainor

Keynote Address

Heaven on Earth: Ecological Nuances from Luke’s Gospel

Revd Dr Michael Trainor is a Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Research Supervisor at the Australian Catholic University, Adelaide, as well as an Adjunct Lecturer within the Department of Theology at Flinders University, South Australia.

He is a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide whose research interests include the popular understanding of theology, the Gospels, the letters of St Paul, and the interface between archaeology and the Bible.

He has obtained a MA in Biblical Literature and Languages from the Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, USA), a MEd from Boston College (Massachusetts, USA) and a Doctor of Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity (Melbourne, Australia).

His most popular publications include:

  • Befriending the Text: A Beginner's Guide to the Bible. Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1991.
  • According to Luke: Insights for Contemporary Pastoral Practice. Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1993.
  • The Quest for Home: The Household in Mark’s Gospel. Collegeville, Minnesotta: The Liturgical Press, 2001
  • Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide to the Bible. Kensington: St Paul Publications, 2005.
  • About Angels: Companions in our Quest for God. Kensington, NSW: St Paul Publications, 2009.