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Orthodox Christian Studies Center Events

Panel Session: “Orthodox Christianity, Sexual Diversity, and the Public Sphere”

A public event of the Fordham-Exeter “Bridging Voices” project "Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Identity and the Challenges of Pluralism and Sexual Diversity in a Secular Age." 

November 19, 2019 | 6 PM | Flom Auditorium, Walsh Family Library | Rose Hill Bronx, NY

Moderator: Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University
Panelists: Brandon Gallaher, University of Exeter
Very Reverend John Jillions, Orthodox Church in America
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, New York University
Gregory Tucker, University of Regensburg

Reception to Follow

Register Now

Jerusalem: City of the Book

"Jerusalem: City of the Book"

Merav Mack (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Benjamin Balint

November 13th, 6:00PM | McNally Amphitheatre | Fordham University | Lincoln Center, NY

Co-sponsored with the Center for Medieval Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies

Merav Mack is a historian and scholar of contemporary religion affiliated with the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Protestant Institute for Archaeology at Augusta Victoria. Her current research focuses on Christian minorities in the Middle East. Benjamin Balint is a writer and translator based at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. His previous books include Running Commentary and Kafka’s Last Trial. (Bios from Yale University Press)

The Limits of Philosophy or Theology Otherwise

"The Limits of Philosophy or Theology Otherwise"

The Very Rev. Archimandrite John Panteleimon Manoussakis (College of the Holy Cross)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | 5 PM | Butler Commons, Duane Library | Rose Hill, Bronx, NY

This title evokes two seminal works on the philosophy of religion, namely, Kant's Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone and Levinas' Otherwise than Being. The objective of this paper is to say something about a theology beyond the constrains of logos (how logos is to be understood here will be discussed), that is, a theology which is confronted by the body as the limit and limitation of philosophical logos, of which the recent phenomenologies of the body (Marion, Falque) have made us aware.

Fr. John Panteleimon Manoussakis is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross and editor-in-chief of the Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion (Brill). His publications focus on philosophy of religion, phenomenology, Plato and the Neo-Platonic tradition, Patristics, and psychoanalysis. He is the author of God After Metaphysics: A Theological Aesthetic (Indiana, 2007, translated into Russian and Romanian), For the Unity of All (Cascade, 2015, translated into Italian), and more recently of The Ethics of Time: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Change (Bloomsbury, 2017). 

The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine

The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine

A co-sponsored event of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center (Fordham University) & the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

December 4, 2018 
Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

In October of 2018, the Orthodox Church’s Istanbul-based leader, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, announced that he will grant autocephaly (independence) to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has been under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. As religious tensions between the newly established Kiev Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate develop, the future of the Orthodox Church remains uncertain. Panelists will discuss the political, theological, historical, and geopolitical dimensions of these recent events in their commentary, as they assess the current status and future opportunities for the church in Ukraine.

Featuring Center Co-Directors George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou 
Also featuring: 
José Casanova, Georgetown University 
Shaun Casey, Georgetown University 
Nadieszda Kizenko, SUNY Albany

Video of the full event can be found on the Berkley Center website.

Women of the Church: Faith, Service, and Leadership

Women of the Church: Faith, Service, and Leadership

Panel session featuring:

Donna Rizk Asdourian, Ph.D.
Fellow, Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University

Ann Bezzerides, Ph.D.
Director of the Office of Vocation and Ministry
Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

Tamara Grdzelidze, D.Phil., Ph.D.
Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the Holy See (Vatican)

Sister Vassa Larin, Ph.D.
Coffee with Sr. Vassa (Podcast)
Member, Commissions of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church (Liturgy and Church Art; Canon Law)

Moderated by Patricia Fann Bouteneff, D.Phil.
Director, Pan-Orthodox Women’s Network

October 9, 2018 | 6 p.m. | 12th-Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus

Summer Intensive Course in Medieval Georgian

Summer Intensive Course in Medieval Georgian

Dr. Vitaly Permiakov

August 6-17, 2018 | Fordham University | Rose Hill Campus | Bronx, NY

About the Instructor:

Born to a Russian family in Riga, Latvia, Dr. Permiakov relocated to the United States in 1999 after completing his undergraduate studies. He entered St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY with the blessing of late Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas (OCA, d. 2011), and in 2002, he was tonsured to the ecclesiastical rank of Reader in the Three Hierarchs Chapel of SVOTS. After finishing seminary, he enrolled in a doctoral program in Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where in 2012 he defended a dissertation on the history and origins of the Byzantine rite for the consecration of churches.

Dr. Permiakov is Assistant Professor of Liturgical and Dogmatic Theology at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, where he has been teaching since 2011. His research focuses on the liturgical history of Jerusalem and Palestine in the Byzantine period. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and Society for Oriental Liturgies (Societas Orientalium Liturgiarum).

To read about Dr. Permiakov's scholarly and popular work, see his HTOS faculty profile.



50 Years Since Catonsville

50 Years Since Catonsville: Ten Things I Learned from Daniel Berrigan

Lecture by Jim Forest

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | 7:30 p.m. | Flom Auditorium, Walsh Library | Rose Hill Campus | Bronx, NY

About the Speaker

Jim Forest, a noted theologian and peace activist, served alongside Dorothy Day as managing editor of The Catholic Worker, and from 1977 to 1988 he served as secretary general of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Forest is also the co-founder of the Catholic Peace Fellowship and a former member of the Milwaukee 14, a group of anti-war activists who burned thousands of draft files in September 1968 in protest of the Vietnam War. He is also the author of a number of books, including Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton (Orbis 1991) and Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment (Orbis 2014).

This event was sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, the Department of Theology, the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, and the Fordham College at Rose Hill Dean’s Office.

The Church for Academia

The Church for Academia

Bridging Scholarship with Ecclesiastical Life

Oriental Orthodox Studies Seminar Day

Moderator: Donna Rizk, Ph.D.
Fordham University Research Fellow


Archbishop Vahan Hovhanessian
Armenian Orthodox Church, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of France
Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, Fordham University

Archbishop Dionysius
Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Patriarchal Delegate and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States
M.A. in Eastern and Oriental Liturgy, The Pontifical Oriental Institute

Bishop Kyrillos
Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop of Education of the Southern Coptic Diocese of California
Ph.D. in Patristics, University of Notre Dame

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | 6 p.m. | Tognino Hall (Duane Library) | Fordham University Rose Hill Campus | Bronx, NY

The Oriental Orthodox Studies Seminar on The Church for Academia: Bridging Scholarship with Ecclesiastical Life aims to discover the ways to engage scholarship with the Church. The gulf between academia and the life of the average lay person often remains wide; formative study and the Church many times are perceived as two distinct worlds that should not and cannot merge. However, the academy and the Church can each contribute towards the others enrichment and growth.

To bridge the two, some questions must first be addressed:

  • What are some steps both the academy and the Church can take to engage with the other?
  • How can the specialization of academia, found at the highest bookshelves, fall into the hands of the average church goer? And the celebrant?
  • Is it the Church’s vision and responsibility to lead members in the field of academia for the enhancement of the Church?
  • How can the Church officially integrate and sanction its members who are in the academy or in the pursuit of it?
  • Can a structure be established, particularly for non-ordained leaders, including women. If so, how?
  • What challenges does or can the Church face in establishing a set structure for such positions?
  • How can the Church be prepared for ‘church-academics’?

Bouquets to Icons: Exhibit and Reception

Bouquets to Icons: Exhibit and Reception

Saturday, February 24, 7 p.m. | Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church | 10 Mill Road, New Rochelle, NY

Join us for an evening where floral designers will present an array of arrangements inspired by beautiful icons. In creating their arrangements, these designers pay tribute to and draw their inspiration from these icons. The icons will be displayed along with their floral arrangements. At the end of the evening, the floral arrangements will be raffled.

The Human Being as the Image of God in Fourth-to-Sixth Century Coptic Texts

The Human Being as the Image of God in Fourth-to-Sixth Century Coptic Texts

A Lecture by Alberto Camplani, Sapienza University of Rome
Introduced by Donna Rizk, Fordham University

Tuesday Dec 5 | 6 p.m. | 12th Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus

This lecture will propose a new contextualization of fourth- and fifth-century Egyptian Christian debates about the human being “in the image of God” (Gen 1:26-27), by locating them within broader intellectual and institutional tensions in the Egyptian church and highlighting the originality of the Coptic contribution. The controversies surrounded such issues as the place of God’s image in the human compound; the image’s permanence after the fall of Adam and Eve; the role of the body in higher forms of prayer and mysticism; and the significance of anthropomorphic expressions found in the Bible. The sources analyzed will include Greek fragments by Theophilus and Cyril of Alexandria as well as a number of Coptic texts (either translated from Greek or directly composed in Coptic) such as Melito’s On the Soul and the Body, two of Shenute’s sermons, the anonymous Life of Aphu (a bishop of Oxyrhynchus and monk), and the works attributed to Agathonicus of Tarsus.

Trump, Putin, and Traditional Values

Trump, Putin, and Traditional Values

Moderator: Mark Movsesian

St. John's University Law School

Shaun Casey

Georgetown University, former head of Religion and Global Affairs Office of US State Department

Nikolas Gvosdev

United States Navel Academy

Kristina Stoeckl

University of Innsbruck

Peter Wehner

Ethics and Public Policy Center, former White House staff under Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr.

Wednesday, November 1 | 6 p.m. | McNally Amphitheatre | Lincoln Center Campus

American Evangelical and Russian actors—both from the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church—are forming alliances to support “traditional values” against "political liberalism," and each for their own purposes:  American Evangelicals are attempting to influence the political and cultural landscape of the US; the Russians are forging a new East-West cultural cold war. This panel session will explore the political, social, and religious dimensions of this new alliance that has geo-political implications.

Watch video of the event here.

Orthodoxy in America & America's Orthodoxies- David Bentley Hart

Orthodoxy in America and America's Orthodoxies

The 2017 Orthodoxy in America Lecture

Presented by David Bentley Hart

Research Fellow at The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

September 26 | 6 p.m. |12th-Floor Lounge | E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center | Lowenstein Center | 113 West 60th Street | New York City

This lecture will reflect on the degree to which Orthodoxy in America, under pressure from convert communities and the society as a whole, might be seen as bringing about a new phase in Orthodox identity, or even (for both good and ill) a new Orthodox synthesis. Is the emerging American expression of Orthodoxy truly Orthodox, or is it more truly American? Or, conversely, is Orthodox identity a single thing, or does it emerge anew in every new cultural setting?

Out of the Flames: Preserving Endangered Syriac Christianity

Out of the Flames: Preserving the Manuscript Heritage of Endangered Syriac Christianity in the Middle East

Syriac Studies Series of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center

Lecture presented by Columba Stewart, OSB

Professor of Theology and Executive Director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML)
Saint John’s University

Introduction by Gerald Blaszczak, SJ

Director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Fairfield University

Monday, February 6, 2017 | 6 p.m. | South Lounge | Lowenstein Building Plaza Level
Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus | 113 West 60th Street | New York City

The Syriac Christians of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, Syria, and southeast Turkey) are among the most vulnerable of minority cultures in the current Middle Eastern crisis. Their culture is ancient and its manuscript heritage is among the richest in the Christian world. Dr. Columba Stewart, OSB, a Benedictine monk as well as one of the world’s leading experts in Syriac Christianity, has written extensively on early monastic history and on exchanges among Syriac, Greek, and Latin monastic cultures. For more than a decade he has led a major effort to preserve the manuscript heritage of Christians and Muslim communities threatened by war and globalization.

This lecture will describe the significance of Syriac Christianity as a counterpoint to historically dominant Greek and Latin Christian cultures, with a particular focus on the manuscripts that embody and represent Syriac heritage. It will also describe current efforts to preserve and share those precious manuscript witnesses in the face of determined efforts to destroy them.

We are pleased to welcome back to Fordham University the Reverend Gerald Blaszczak, SJ, who will provide the introduction. “Father Gerry,” as he is known, was a catalyst in the creation of the Orthodox Christian Studies program at Fordham University.

"Hajji Mama," or the Christian Family Hajj to Jerusalem

"Hajji Mama," or the Christian Family Hajj to Jerusalem

Lecture presented by Valentina Izmirlieva

Chair, Department of Slavic Languages
Columbia University


Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Assistant Professor of Theology
Fordham University

Ebru Turan

Assistant Professor of History
Fordham University

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 | 6:00 p.m. | O’Hare Special Collections Room | Walsh Library 4th Floor
Fordham University Rose Hill Campus | 441 East Fordham Road | Bronx, NY 10458

From the 17th to the 19th centuries in the European part of the Ottoman Empire, Orthodox Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem took as their model the Muslim Hajj to Mecca. These paradoxical Christian pilgrims called themselves “hajjis,” using an Islamic honorific, but insisted on their Eastern Orthodox identity and the Orthodox ethos of their quest. Valentina Izmirlieva’s research addresses religious coexistence and cultural exchange among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the context of multi-ethnic and multi-religious empires.

Join Fordham professors Sarit Kattan Gribetz and Ebru Turan as Dr. Izmirlieva shares the story of how the Orthodox Hajj to Jerusalem emerged from within Muslim Ottoman culture as a Christian family project; and further, as a surprising vehicle for female mobility, creativity, and empowerment.

This lecture appears courtesy of the institutional partnership between the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University and the Black Sea Networks Initiative of Columbia University.

A Syriac Non-Orthodox View of Seventh-Century Events in the Near East

A Syriac Non-Orthodox View of Seventh-Century Events in the Near East

Syriac Studies Series of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center

Lecture by Muriel Debié

École Pratique des Hautes Études

Monday, April 3 ,2017 | 6 p.m. | O'Hare Special Collections Room, Walsh Library | Rose Hill Campus

Syriac non-Orthodox literature offers a view of the seventh century that differs from the one presented by Byzantine Orthodox and Islamic sources. Questioning the Sasanid and then Arab “conquests” as well as the “canonized” periodization, this lecture will share how Syriac texts offer a alternate understanding of a period we still perceive as a turning point in the history of the region and the world.

Dr. Muriel Debié, Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, is currently a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies. She is a world-renowned expert in Syriac Studies, and particularly of Syriac historiography.


Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred

Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred

International conference presented by the Sacred Arts Initiative and the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, in collaboration with the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University.

Speakers include:

Jeffers Engelhardt, Alexander Lingas, Bissera Pentcheva, Kevin Karnes, Toomas Siitan, Andrew Shenton, and Robert Saler, as well as an exclusive filmed interview on the conference theme with Paul Hillier. The conference will open with a special appearance by Manfred Eicher.

May 1 - 4, 2017 | McNally Amphitheater | 140 W. 62nd St. (between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues)
Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus | New York City

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is pleased to host the academic sessions of this international and interdisciplinary conference, bringing together scholars from diverse fields (music, theology, sacred acoustics/sound studies, architecture, religious studies, philosophy, et al.), as well as artists experienced in the performance and recording of Pärt’s music, to create a unique forum for the exchange of ideas, research, practices and creativity on the topics of sound and the sacred.

The music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is frequently connected with experiences of the sacred. Although the composer’s religious affiliation is specifically Orthodox Christian, his music and its impact carry an appeal beyond confessional and religious boundaries. His popularity crosses over customary distinctions between classical and popular music, sacred and secular art, liturgical space and concert hall.

The unique impact of Pärt’s music has been explored musicologically—and more recently through the lens of spirituality— but not yet in terms of the more basic elements of sound and embodiment. Through a two-fold approach, with more or less direct relationship to the Pärt repertoire, the conference seeks to break new ground exploring primary questions around how music achieves its visceral and spiritual effect on human beings through the materiality of the movement of air impressing itself on the human body.

Affiliated events may be held at nearby venues. This conference is open to the public.

Religion in America through Orthodox Eyes

Religion in America through Orthodox Eyes: The Travelogue of a Nineteenth-Century Russian Orthodox Thinker

The 2016 Annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture

Presented by Vera Shevzov

Professor of Religion, Smith College

Introduction by Anna Meyendorff

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 6 p.m. | 12th-Floor Lounge | E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center
Lowenstein Center | 113 West 60th Street | New York City

At the age of 26, the future Biblical scholar, prolific author, translator, and founding editor of one of the most well-known Biblical commentaries in pre-revolutionary Russia—the so-called Lopukhin Bible—Alexander Pavlovich Lopukhin (1852-1904) arrived in New York City from St. Petersburg, Russia. Fluent in English and assigned as a lay reader to the small Orthodox community attached to the Russian Consulate in New York City, the young Lopukhin spent two years closely observing life in America. His stay subsequently resulted in a travelogue, numerous essays, and public lectures in Russia on religious life in the United States, as well as a dissertation on Roman Catholicism in America. This talk will examine this Orthodox scholar's sometimes surprising and lively reflections on religion in America and consider his observations in light of a historically persistent Orthodox Occidentalism.

Watch a video of the lecture and read about the event on Fordham News.

The 2016 Orthodoxy in America Lecture is made possible with a generous grant from the Nicholas J. & Anna K. Bouras Foundation, Inc.