Founded in 2003 by a generous grant from the late Stephen Pappas and his wife Catherine, the goal of the Institute is the advancement and promotion of primarily Greek patristic studies in the service of the academy and of the Church.
As it grows, the Institute will have the potential to become a center of Greek and other eastern patristic studies in North America. This potential stems both from what has been developing in the broad fields of patristic and Early Christian studies, and also from its establishment within one of the member schools of the Boston Theological Institute, -- Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Priorities: Short-Term and Long-Term
Dialogue is central to our work. However, acquaintance with the primary texts is the unavoidable basis of solid patristic scholarship. Our increasing ability to access the material cultures and the sociological settings from which the texts arose, while adding to the enriching complexity of patristic studies, does not dilute the reality that patristic study centers primarily and foundationally on the texts that have come down to us from early Christianity.
However, numerous important texts have not yet been critically edited, and many, many more are still not available in reliable modern translations or supported by helpful commentaries. This situation obviously establishes some of the long-term priorities of the Institute, and, given the decline of the humanistic disciplines, one of the most serious challenges of this Institute and of contemporary patristic scholarship in general.
However, the long and expensive work of editing texts involves the commitment of more resources than are initially available to us. Thus, until the endowment grows sufficiently to include the support of such vitally important scholarship, we will focus on more immediately attainable goals such as sponsoring conferences, fellowships, and selected research projects and translations, and on the publications that can proceed from these activities.
We will also be looking into the ways in which the Institute's web site, in conjunction with other similar resources, can be of service to patristic scholars and to others interested in the Early Church.