Aristotle Papanikolaou

Aristotle Papanikolaou image

Professor of Theology
Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture
Co-founding Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center

General Information

Department of Theology
Lincoln Center Campus
Office 924, Leon Lowenstein Building
113 W. 60th St.
New York, NY 10023

Papanikolaou website

Email: [email protected]

  • Aristotle Papanikolaou is a Professor of Theology and the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture. He is Co-founding Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, and McDonald Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion. In 2012, he received the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities, and in 2024, he was named the University of Chicago Divinity School Alum of the Year. He was born/raised in Chicago, Illinois, and he enjoys Russian literature, Byzantine and Greek music, and is a bit of a foodie.

    Since founding the Orthodox Christian Studies Center with George Demacopoulos in 2012, he has dedicated his time to building the Center’s endowment and starting a host of globally-recognized initiatives such as the National Endowment for the Humanities Matching Challenge Grant, which funds two annual research fellowships in Orthodox Studies at Fordham. In 2019, the Center initiated a Henry-Luce funded project on “Orthodox Christianity and Human Rights." Also in 2019, the Center co-sponsored the British Council Bridging Voices project "Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Identity and the Challenges of Pluralism and Sexual Diversity in a Secular Age."

  • PhD - University of Chicago, 1997
    MDiv - Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, 1991
    BA - Fordham University, 1988

  • Aristotle Papanikolaou’s areas of expertise are Eastern Orthodox theology, Trinitarian theology, and political theology. He is currently developing an expertise on the relation between theological anthropology, violence and virtue ethics.

    His on-going research interests include contemporary Orthodox theology (nineteenth and twentieth centuries), Trinitarian theology, and political theology. His current research agenda relates to theological anthropology, and specifically how the Christian notion of theosis affects our understanding of what it means to be human. As a theotic theological anthropology, he is interested in the question of how theosis can illuminate understandings of identity, sin, virtue, the communication of grace, and a relational understanding of personhood.

  • Faith, Reason, and Theosis, eds. Aristotle Papanikolaou and George Demacopoulos (Fordham University Press, 2023).

    Orthodox Tradition and Human Sexuality, eds. Thomas Arentzen, Ashley Purpura, and Aristotle Papanikolaou (Fordham University Press, 2022).

    The Mystical as Political:  Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).

    Being with God:  Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine-Human Communion (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006).

    Fundamentalism or Tradition:  Christianity after Secularism, eds. Aristotle Papanikolaou and George Demacopoulos (Fordham University Press, 2020).

    Political Theologies in Orthodox Christianity, eds. Kristina Stoeckl, Ingeborg Gabriel, and Aristotle Papanikolaou (Bloomsbury: T&T Clark, 2017). 

    Christianity, Democracy and the Shadow of Constantine, eds. George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou (New York: Fordham University Press, 2017). Winner of 2017 Alpha Sigma Nu Award in Theology.

    Modes of Godly Being: Reflections on the Virtues in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, eds. Aristotle Papanikolaou and Perry Hamalis, Studies in Christian Ethics 26:3 (August 2013).

    Orthodox Constructions of the ‘West’, eds. George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013).

    Orthodox Readings of Augustine, eds. George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008).

    Thinking through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars, eds. Aristotle Papanikolaou and Elizabeth Prodromou (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008)