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Summer Patristics Institute Connects Students to Church Fathers

The Pappas Patristic Institute at Hellenic College Holy Cross recently completed its 8th annual Summer Patristic Studies Program, July 20-25, 2014 on the HCHC campus. There were 30 participants from all around the country including clergy, lay persons, graduate students, professors, and undergraduates. Four students from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of theology participated. 

The mission of the summer program is not only to engender interest in the writings and the lives of the Fathers, but also to provide a training ground for the young scholars in their doctoral study years. This year, there were 9 doctoral students, four of whom served as Teaching Fellows.

Dr. Bruce Beck, Director of the Pappas Patristics Institute and Assistant Professor of New Testament commented, “This year’s program again was very successful based on the quality of the discussion and comments about student experiences. We have a very unique offering since our discussion-based method of instruction allows everyone to participate, from the advanced to the beginners.”

Joshua McManaway, a doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame and one of the Teaching Fellows said, “The ecumenism of this institute is one of the highlights and this is much to its credit. Pappas affords us the opportunity to draw deeply from the wells of patristic literature on any number of topics—to read the authors themselves, to allow the texts to become our teachers and their authors our interlocutors. This is the institute’s great virtue.”

Each participant chose two courses, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Discussion makes up ninety minutes of each two-and-a-half-hour class session.

The program offered six courses, including two from Holy Cross faculty:

  • Grace and Free Will After Augustine, Dr. Brian Matz, Carroll College
  • Approaches to Prayer in the Early Church, Dr. George Tsakiridis, South Dakota State University
  • Reading Scripture with the Fathers: Studies in Patristic Hermeneutics, Dr. Bruce Beck, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
  • Exploring the Ancient Baptismal Liturgies, Teva Regule, Boston College
  • The Problem of Evil in the Writings of the Fathers, Dr. David K. Goodin, McGill University, Montreal
  • Ad Fontes (Returning to Ancient Modes of Scriptural Interpretation): Workshop on the Book of Hosea, Rev. Dr. Eugen Pentiuc, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

The summer institute will be held again next summer from July 19-24, 2015, offering a slate of eight courses, six of which will be offered for the first time.

To register or learn more, please contact:
Dr. Bruce Beck, Director, Pappas Patristics Institute

Or visit: www.hchc.edu/patristics