THO 6382 Foundational Texts in Eastern Christian Theology

Rt. Rev. Mitred Protopresbyter Andriy Chirovsky, S.Th.D.

Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30 pm

Course Description
A study of prominent texts in the doctrinal literature of the Eastern Churches throughout the ages, including selected writings of Irenaeus of Lyons, Origen, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, Ps.-Dionysius, Maximus, John Damascene, Photius, Gregory Palamas, Peter Mohyla, John Zizioulas.

An appreciation of the antinomic and apophatic tradition of theologizing in the Eastern Churches. Identification of classic authors and texts and examination of dominant themes at some depth. Exposure of students to various types of texts: orations, treatises, centuries, sermons, etc., and various contexts: exposition, controversy, catechesis, etc. Application of insights gleaned to a preachable and teachable, balanced theology for the contemporary Christian.

Weekly class presentations and in-depth group discussions regarding the readings. These crucially important presentations and discussions will focus on situating the selected classic texts within the wider Tradition. One student will present each text. All others will engage in a discussion focusing on questions internal to the text, and those that connect to contemporary concerns. Weekly postings to class website, research paper (12-15 typed pages) or other negotiated project. Oral Exam.

Class presentations – 20%
Class Handouts – 20%
Postings to Website (critical reflections) regarding the readings, Presentation Handouts, quizzes – 20%
Research Paper – 40%
Oral Exam – 20%

Required Texts
A list of online texts will be presented at the start of the course of the following works and some others.

Recommended Texts
Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching.
Athanasius, On the Incarnation (Alternatively: Orations against the Arians).
Origen, First Principles.
Basil, Hexaemeron.
Gregory of Nazianzus, Theological Orations.
Pseudo-Dionysius, Mystical Theology.
Maximus the Confessor, Two Centuries on Theology.
John Damascene, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.
Photius, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit.
Gregory Palamas, Triads.
Peter Mohyla, Orthodox Confession of the Faith.
John Zizioulas, Being as Communion.

Professor Contact Info
Rt. Rev. Mitred Protopresbyter Andriy Chirovsky, S.Th.D.
Peter and Doris Kule Professor of Eastern Christian Theology and Spirituality
Founder and First Director, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
223 Main Street, Ottawa, ON, K1S 1C4, Canada
Office: (613)236-1393, ext.2332 or (613)782-3031; fax (613)782-3026

(613)216-2435  This is a special line that allows you to call me wherever I am, but is only a local call from Ottawa.

You can also call me at Saint Paul University, (613)236-1393, ext. 3031
Sheptytsky Institute Website

Course Content  (Click on the author’s name for a wealth of resources)

  1. St. Irenaeus of Lyons
    Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching
  2. St. Athanasius
    Discourses Against the Arians or On the Incarnation of the Word
  3. Origen
    First Principles
  4. St. Basil the Great
    The Hexæmeron
  5. St. Gregory the Theologian
    Theological Orations
  6. Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite
    Mystical Theology
  7. St. Maximos the Confessor
    Two Centuries on Theology
  8. St. John of Damascus
    On the Orthodox Faith
  9. Photius
    On the Holy Spirit
  10. St. Gregory Palamas
    The Triads in Defense of the Holy Hesychasts
  11. Petro Mohyla
    On the Orthodox Faith
  12. John Zizioulas
    Being as Communion