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Orthodox Christian Studies Center

Saints John and Bartholomew

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University connects an archipelago of cultures, religious traditions, and academic disciplines to advance awareness and knowledge of Orthodox Christianity in public discourse. In its distinctive relationship to Roman Catholicism through the Jesuit tradition of Fordham University, as well as its location in New York City, the Orthodox Christian Studies Center is uniquely poised to engage ecumenical discussion and to foster Christian unity

The Center supports scholarship and builds intellectual community through wide-ranging initiatives including: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)-supported research fellowships, the Patterson Triennial Conference on Orthodox/Catholic Dialogue, the annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture, and an undergraduate minor in Orthodox Christian Studies.

The Center also provides four distinctive avenues for academic publishing: Public Orthodoxy, the Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies, the Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought book series, and the Christian Arabic Texts in Translation book series.

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University works closely with the Theology Department and the Center for Medieval Studies in order to offer an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Orthodox Christianity. The Center collaborates nationally and internationally in institutional partnerships with the Black Sea Networks at Columbia University, the Sacred Arts Initiative of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, and the Volos Academy for Theological Studies.

Our Orthodox Christian Visual and Performing Arts Series is supported, in part, by a grant from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation and the Cottonwood Foundation.

Upcoming Events

The Female Diaconate and the Orthodox Church

February 11, 2020 | 6:00 p.m. | McNally Amphitheatre, Gabelli School of Business | Lincoln Center Campus

Panelists include:
Carrie Frederick Frost, St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox School of Theology
Teva Regule, President, Orthodox Theological Society in America
Kyra Limberakis, Hellenic College Holy Cross
Moderator: Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, New York University

Register for the Female Diaconate and the Orthodox Church

Orthodoxy and Anthropology in Conversation

March 9, 2020 | 6:00 p.m. | 12th-Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus

Most scholarly engagements with Orthodox Christianity rest in the fields of theology and history, with little ethnographic focus on the socio-political, everyday lives of Orthodox Christians today. Similarly, anthropology of Orthodoxy is often devoid of theological sensitivity. In an effort to make Orthodox Studies holistic and attuned to the experiences of believers, this panel bringing together theologians and anthropologists of Orthodox Christianity to think through the social life of religious concepts and the future of the field. Orthodoxy is not a tradition of the past, but rather is forged by the challenges of the modern world and the debates of contemporary life. 

Moderated by:
Candace Lukasik, OCSC Coptic Studies Fellow
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, OCSC NEH Dissertation Fellow 

Panelist Biographies:
Angie Heo
is Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at the University of Chicago.  After receiving her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, she taught at Barnard College and held research fellow positions at Emory University and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.  Based on fieldwork in Egypt, The Political Lives of Saints (University of California Press 2018) is her first book.   
Alexandra Antohin is an anthropologist of religion, with a specific focus on Orthodox Christianities. Most recently, she completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and participated as a member of Africounters, an inter-disciplinary research group focused on issues facing the African continent. She currently serves as the Senior Research and Program Director at the Avoice Virtual Library Project, a digital archives capturing black legislative behavior in the United States House of Representatives. She is also the managing co-editor of the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 2018, as well as a contributing editor of The Jugaad Project: Material Religions in Context. Alexandra completed her doctorate in Social Anthropology at University College London and is currently a professorial lecturer at George Washington University. The results of her ethnographic study of Ethiopian Orthodox church life, “The Covenant’s Veil: Ethiopian Orthodox Tradition of Elaboration”, is under review by the Fordham University Press special series “Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought”.

Sonja Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Colby College.  Her research examines the intersections of caste, race, gender, class, and religion in postcolonial India and community-based movements for “minority rights.”  She is the author of Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India (UWA Press, 2018).  She has also written articles on education and religious minorities in India, the South Asian American diaspora and comparative racializations, and Black vernacular traditions in the US and globally.  Sonja is associate editor for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.  She is currently researching Catholic missionary priests from India serving in rural America.  

Elina Vuola, ThD is Professor of Global Christianity and Dialogue of Religions at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is also the vice dean of international affairs and societal relations of the Faculty. Her most recent publications are The Virgin Mary across Cultures. Devotion among Costa Rican Catholic and Finnish Orthodox Women (Routledge 2019) and Orthodox Christianity and Gender. Dynamics of Tradition, Culture and Lived Practice (Routledge 2019), which she co-edited with Helena Kupari.

Donna Rizk Asdourian, PhD was a Research Fellow at Fordham University (New York), focusing on 'Women's Role in the Liturgy: the Coptic and Oriental Orthodox Churches." She holds a Masters from Holy Cross Orthodox Seminary, a Masters in Eastern Christianity from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Theology from King's College London, and also did work in Austria, and in the field of Liturgical Studies in Berkeley. Her research interests include Coptic Orthodoxy, Armenian Studies, Liturgical Studies, and Women in the Church. 

Register for "Orthodoxy and Anthropology in Conversation" here.