Summer Institute Registration Form

Summer Institute

Topic: Shaping the Faith: The Theology of Ignatius, Irenaeus, Origen, and Athanasius
Resource Person: Very Rev. Fr. Dr. John Behr
Dates: Sunday June 9th ( 4pm) to Friday June 14th (4pm)
Registration: $375 (make payable to “Northeast American Diocese”)
Registration fees due by May 15th.


See here for flyer:       2019 Summer Institute Brochure


Draft of Schedule:

  • This course will look at the development of Christian theology in the period leading up to the Council of Nicaea. It will focus on the most important figures while treating various themes: Christology, triadology, and anthropology; sin, passion, and death; and Scripture and its exegesis. Fundamental questions will include: what did each figure see as the nature and method of theology itself — what is theology and how does it work? — and what is the canon or criterion, if any, that regulates it (raising questions of uniformity and diversity)? What texts are to count as sacred scripture and how are they to be interpreted? What are the central teachings of Christianity regarding 1) the person of Christ and his relation to God and the Spirit, and 2) what is sometimes called “salvation history” (creation—fall— redemption) and 3) how do the Fathers understand and articulate such teachings? The course will also examine the question of how a Christian should follow Christ by looking closely at the witness of the martyrs.
  • Texts to be studied:
    • Melito of Sardis, On Pascha
    • St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letters
    • St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies
    • Origen, Commentary on John; First Principles
    • St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

About Fr John:

Very Rev. Dr. John Behr serves as the Director of the Master of Theology Program and is the Father Georges Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary.

Father John Behr is Professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics and scriptural exegesis at the seminary, and also at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics.

Fr John is one of the preeminent figures in world of patristics and early Christianity and has published numerous works in the field. He serves as editor of Popular Patristics Series for SVS Press. His early work was on issues of asceticism and anthropology, focusing on St. Irenaeus of Lyons and Clement of Alexandria. After spending almost a decade in the second century, Fr. John began the publication of a series on the Formation of Christian Theology, and has now reached the fifth and sixth centuries. He has completed an edition and translation of, and introduction to, the remaining texts of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. He has also published a synthetic presentation of the theology of the early centuries, focused on the mystery of Christ. Additionally Fr John has published “Irenaeus of Lyons: Identifying Christianity” and has translated and published Origen’s On First Principles as part of the Oxford Early Christian Texts Series.

Fr John is a great friend of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, has travelled to Kerala on visit to the Malankara Church, and has spoken at the Diocesan Family and Youth Conference.