Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University

Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University

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Analogical Identities: The Creation of the Christian Self Beyond Spirituality and Mysticism in the Patristic Era Dr. Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos Is it possible for nihilism and an ontology of personhood as will to power to be incubated in the womb of Christian Mysticism? Is it possible that the modern ontology of power, which constitutes the core of the Greek-Western metaphysics, has a theological grounding? Has Nietszche reversed Plato or, more likely, Augustine and Origen, re-fashioning in a secular framework the very essence of their ontology? Do we have any alternative Patristic anthropological sources of the Greek-Western Self, beyond what has been traditionally called "Spirituality" or "Mysticism"? Patristic theology seems to ultimately provide us with a different understanding of selfhood, beyond any Ancient or modern, Platonic or not, Transcendentalism. This book strives to decipher, retrieve, and re-embody the underlying mature Patristic concept of selfhood, beyond the dichotomies of mind and body, essence and existence, transcendence and immanence, inner and outer, conscious and unconscious, person and nature, freedom and necessity: the Analogical Identity of this Self needs to be explored.
Religion During the Russian Ukrainian Conflict - ed. Elizabeth A. Clark, Dmytro Vovk This book investigates how the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has affected the religious situation in these countries. It considers threats to and violations of religious freedom, including those arising in annexed Crimea and in the eastern part of Ukraine, where fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatist paramilitary groups backed and controlled by Russia is still going on, as well as in Russia and Ukraine more generally. It also assesses the impact of the conflict on church-state relations and national religion policy in each country and explores the role religion has played in the military conflict and the ideology surrounding it, focusing especially on the role of the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches, as well as on the consequences for inter-church relations and dialogue.
Byzantium Unbound Byzantium suffers under many layers of misunderstanding built up between the ninth and twentieth centuries. Peeling away these layers, we find a civilization worth studying, one that explains much about classical and medieval history. Rather than representing a society "peripheral" to more important historical developments, or a mere "intermediary stage" of grander civilizational progress, Byzantium merits study in its own right as the most stable and enduring form of Greco-Roman society, forming a sturdy bridge between antiquity and the early modern period, as well as between East and West. This book repositions Byzantium in our "grammar of civilizations" and presents a fresh argument for what Byzantine Studies has to offer, especially to classicists and medievalists. Such a book has never been written about Byzantium. Scholars, students, and instructors who are currently at a loss how Byzantium might usefully be integrated into a world history curriculum will find this book essential.
Basilio Petrà sees Christos Yannaras (b. 1935) as a philosopher and theologian whose refiguring, on the one hand, of Heidegger's refusal to define being in ontic terms and, on the other, of Wittgenstein's willingness to admit the inexpressible character of the mystical has led him to articulate a powerful vision of true human existence. This bold interpretation outlines the passage from an ontic 'mode of nature' governed by necessity to a 'mode of self-transcendence and self-offering' beyond the limitations of decay and death. In his native Greece, Yannaras revolutionised the way theology had been done for much of the twentieth century. This book examines the trajectory of Yannaras' thought from his initial encounter with Heidegger's philosophy to his formulation (via the tradition of the Greek Fathers) of a modern critical ontology. It is for both advanced students of philosophy and the growing scholarly audience interested in Yannaras' work. Written in accessible language that does not compromise intellectual rigour, it is the only survey of the development of Yannaras' philosophical thought as a whole.
Basilio Petrà sees Christos Yannaras (b. 1935) as a philosopher and theologian whose refiguring, on the one hand, of Heidegger's refusal to define being in ontic terms and, on the other, of Wittgenstein's willingness to admit the inexpressible character of the mystical has led him to articulate a powerful vision of true human existence. This bold interpretation outlines the passage from an ontic 'mode of nature' governed by necessity to a 'mode of self-transcendence and self-offering' beyond the limitations of decay and death. In his native Greece, Yannaras revolutionised the way theology had been done for much of the twentieth century. This book examines the trajectory of Yannaras' thought from his initial encounter with Heidegger's philosophy to his formulation (via the tradition of the Greek Fathers) of a modern critical ontology. It is for both advanced students of philosophy and the growing scholarly audience interested in Yannaras' work. Written in accessible language that does not compromise intellectual rigour, it is the only survey of the development of Yannaras' philosophical thought as a whole.
Slavery and the University is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post-Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery's influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education.
Around the world thousands of people are on organ donor waiting lists. While some of those people will receive the organ transplants they need in time, the sad reality is that many will die waiting. But controversial new research may provide a way to address this crisis. Japan has recently overturned its ban on the creation of human-animal hybrids, or “chimeras”, and approved a request by researchers from the University of Tokyo to create a human-mouse hybrid. Scientists will attempt to grow a human pancreas inside a mouse, using a certain kind of stem cell known as “induced pluripotent stem cells”. These are cells that can grow into almost any kind of cell. The stem cells will be injected into a mouse embryo, which has been genetically modified to be incapable of producing a pancreas using its own cells. This hybrid embryo is then implanted in a mouse surrogate and allowed to grow. The goal is to eventually grow a human pancreas in a larger animal – such as a pig – which can be transplanted into a human. Human-animal hybrids have been created in both the US and UK, but regulations require the embryo to be destroyed usually by 14 days. The new Japanese regulations allow for the embryo to be implanted in a surrogate uterus, and eventually, to be born as a mouse with a “human” pancreas. The mice will then be monitored for up to two years, to see where the human cells travel and how the mice develop.
The newest essay from Public Orthodoxy is part of the @FordhamOrthodox project on #Orthodoxy and #HumanRights. These are real issues.
It’s a hot, humid Wednesday in July but the doors of Manhattan’s Holyrood Episcopal Church are wide open. A rainbow flag flies high above the entryway and a table covered with bilingual pro-immigrant leaflets greets all who enter. The leaflets explain the rights of immigrants, outline important precautions for immigrants to take, and offer tips to allies who want to help stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. But the church has also done much more than this, providing in-church sanctuary — a home inside the building — to two families facing deportation. Although this is illegal, Father Luis Barrios, the head of Holyrood’s Sanctuary Ministry, notes on the church’s website that offering sanctuary is a moral imperative: “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind honors God.” Rev. Nathan Empsall, campaign director of Faithful America, a 165,000-member online emergency network of Christians who oppose Trump’s immigration policies, calls this “social justice evangelism.” It’s a position, he says, that is deeply rooted in Gospel. Leviticus 19:34 states that “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native born.” Likewise, Mark 12:30-31 advises us that there is no commandment greater than loving our neighbors. Exodus 22:21 emphasizes the point further: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Then there’s Deuteronomy 10:19, “You shall love the immigrant.”
Radical Christianity: An Other Kingdom Our seduction into beliefs in competition, scarcity, and acquisition are producing too many casualties. We need to depart a kingdom that creates isolation, polarized debate, an exhausted planet, and violence that comes with the will to empire. The abbreviation of this empire is called a consumer culture. We think the free market ideology that surrounds us is true and inevitable and represents progress. We are called to better adapt, be more agile, more lean, more schooled, more, more, more. Give it up. There is no such thing as customer satisfaction. We need a new narrative, a shift in our thinking and speaking. An Other Kingdom takes us out of a culture of addictive consumption into a place where life is ours to create together. This satisfying way depends upon a neighborly covenant—an agreement that we together, will better raise our children, be healthy, be connected, be safe, and provide a livelihood. The neighborly covenant has a different language than market-hype. It speaks instead in a sacred tongue. Authors Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, and John McKnight invite you on a journey of departure from our consumer market culture, with its constellations of empire and control. Discover an alternative set of beliefs that have the capacity to evoke a culture where poverty, violence, and shrinking well-being are not inevitable—a culture in which the social order produces enough for all. They ask you to consider this other kingdom. To participate in this modern exodus towards a modern community. To awaken its beginnings are all around us. An Other Kingdom outlines this journey to construct a future outside the systems world of solutions. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/An+Other+Kingdom%3A+Departing+the+Consumer+Culture-p-9781119194729 Block, Brueggemann and McKnight are authors of An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture. In this video, I introduce their critique of today's politicized and materialistic Christianity and begin to pose a radical break with the American entanglement of Christianity and the dominant civil religion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FXYTMSGlMQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV4aCxfkh8s

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center supports academic research in the history, thought, and culture of Orthodox Christianity broadly understood.

Operating as usual

egyptindependent.com

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church sends 12 tons of aid to Lebanon - Egypt Independent

egyptindependent.com Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark sent a relief shipment to Lebanon, as a contribution from the Coptic Orthodox Church, to help ease the impact of the Beirut port explosion.

publicorthodoxy.org

The Belarusian Protests and the Orthodox Church - Public Orthodoxy

"In Russia, there is a widely spread superstition that August brings national-scale catastrophes." Fr. Cyril Hovorun on government paternalism and the Moscow Patriarchate's reaction to mass unrest.

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/08/20/belarusian-protests-and-orthodox-church/

publicorthodoxy.org by Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun In Russia, there is a widely spread superstition that August brings national-scale catastrophes. The mass protests in Belarus against Alyaksandr Lukashenka are seen as such a catastrophe for the regime of Vladimir Putin. Even though Mr. Lukashenka struggled to prese...

publicorthodoxy.org

Who Are You When You Feel Liturgically? - Public Orthodoxy

For the faithful who encountered the mystery of God in the liturgical world of Byzantium, and for believers today, could human emotions become divine emotions?

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/08/18/liturgical-feeling/

publicorthodoxy.org by Andrew Mellas What is emotion? Do emotions have a history? Who has emotion? Are emotions innate? These questions are far more complex than they might seem. Indeed, in recent years, scholars have explored how emotions were understood and enacted throughout history, investigated how emotional disco...

publicorthodoxy.org

Admiring the Theotokos at Her Dormition - Public Orthodoxy

Christ’s Resurrection has transformed the experience of death for all of us, from any sense of fearful demise into a joyful threshold toward eternal life. A festal Troparion for the Feast proclaims this most clearly: “In giving birth you retained your virginity. In falling asleep you did not abandon the world, O Mother of God. You passed over into life, for you are the Mother of Life, and by your prayer you deliver our souls from death.”

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/08/14/admiring-the-theotokos/

publicorthodoxy.org by V.K. McCarty It is a privilege to share the Dormition of the Theotokos with you,* especially since the Orthodox manner of regarding the Virgin Mary is in some ways, as on this happy feast-day, perhaps more evolved than in my own church. Mary is so deeply embedded in Orthodox devotion that she is....

nytimes.com

How a Historian Stuffed Hagia Sophia’s Sound Into a Studio

Over 500 years since the last Christian liturgy in Hagia Sophia, can we even begin to imagine the experience? With four balloons, an incredible interdisciplinary team, and Cappella Romana, Bissera Pentcheva has figured out how to give us a taste of chant in Hagia Sophia.

(Don't forget to register for our webinar next Wednesday with Prof. Pentcheva! https://forever.fordham.edu/s/1362/18/interior.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=8762&content_id=9132&_ga=2.156146363.1430043005.1597262905-268298124.1482642333)

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/arts/music/hagia-sophia-acoustics-music.html

nytimes.com A team based at Stanford University used virtual acoustics to bring Istanbul to California and reconstruct the sonic world of Byzantine cathedral music.

publicorthodoxy.org

How Sacred Is Sacred Art? - Public Orthodoxy

One must ask then, should sacred art be sacred? Protected from the accidents of history? Or all art? And who decides what is sacred? Or for that matter, what is art?

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/08/12/how-sacred-is-sacred-art/

publicorthodoxy.org by S.P. Bachelder As an artist, and an Anglican Catholic, I read with particular attention Addison Hart’s letter on the comments of Shaun King asking for the destruction of white Jesus. One must ask then, should sacred art be sacred? Protected from the accidents of history? Or all art? And who dec...

publicorthodoxy.org

Some of My Best Friends Are Heretics: What Do Orthodox Really Believe? - Public Orthodoxy

If the world is divided into Orthodox, heretics, and schismatics, where do Orthodox believers who believe in magic, the evil eye, and fate fall? What about Orthodox Christians who cannot distinguish heretical teachings from Orthodox dogma?

This is the start of an important conversation about worship and orthodox faith.

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/08/10/some-of-my-best-friends-are-heretics/

publicorthodoxy.org by Paul Ladouceur Orthodox pride themselves on belonging to the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” founded by Jesus Christ—and with good reason. Orthodox point to the loftiness of Orthodox theology, the beauty and solemnity of its liturgy, its mystical spirituality, the holiness of its...

forever.fordham.edu

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity

Next week, tune in for our webinar with Bissera V. Pentcheva (Stanford), an accomplished and creative scholar of art history. Her work on iconography, chant, and sacred architecture is stunning!

Her work is informed by phenomenology, placing the attention on the changing appearance of objects and architectural spaces. She relies on film to capture this temporal animation stirred by candlelight. Another important strand of her work engages the sonic envelope of the visual: music and acoustics and employs auralizations that digitally imprint the performance of chant with the acoustic signature of the specific interior for which it was composed.

Don't miss this installment of Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity.
Wednesday, August 19th | 4:00pm | via Zoom
Register here: https://forever.fordham.edu/s/1362/18/interior.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=8762&content_id=9132

forever.fordham.edu The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is delighted to present the seventh episode of its webinar series highlighting the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Chri...

publicorthodoxy.org

Muslims, Christians, and Hagia Sophia - Public Orthodoxy

"Acts of conquest and nationalist 'triumphalism' are here understood as instances of tragedy, not the implementation of the divine will."

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/07/31/muslims-christians-and-hagia-sophia/

publicorthodoxy.org by Phil Dorroll Around midday local time on Friday, July 24th, the first Muslim Friday prayer service in over eighty years was conducted in Hagia Sophia, its status recently changed from a museum to a mosque. A key part of weekly Muslim congregational worship is the preaching of a sermon. In this ca...

publicorthodoxy.org

A Confession of Racism by a Southerner - Public Orthodoxy

"Seeing these reminders of the Civil War, or The War of Northern Aggression as some Southerners refer to it, engendered pride and belonging to the special status of being a Southerner...The focus on the religion of the Lost Cause must come to an end. The South lost the war for good reason, and it will not rise again."

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/07/29/confession-of-racism/

publicorthodoxy.org by Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Payne As I sit holding and examining the print of the famous painting “The Last Meeting of Lee & Jackson” by E.B.D. Julio, I reflect on my own racism and prejudices that I grew up with as a Southerner. I feel as Wendell Berry wrote about, The Hidden Wound, inside […]

forever.fordham.edu

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity

The Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity webinar series continues next Wednesday with Prof. Elizabeth Prodromou (Tufts).

Her research interests focus on geopolitics and religion, with particular focus on the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Southeastern Europe. Her current research projects concentrate on cultural heritage and institutional religious freedom in Turkey, as well as Eastern Orthodox Christianity in contexts of religious pluralism.

Wednesday, August 5 | 4:00 PM
https://forever.fordham.edu/s/1362/18/interior.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=8719&sparam=prodromou&scontid=0&_ga=2.191090730.1297828127.1596112970-268298124.1482642333

forever.fordham.edu The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is delighted to present the sixth episode of its webinar series highlighting the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Christ...

publicorthodoxy.org

Fear Then, Action Now: A Response to “Full and Understanding Support” - Public Orthodoxy

"The precarious status of immigrants––readily scapegoated as unpatriotic agitators and summarily punished––works as a powerful mechanism of social control. Immigrants were encouraged to long for the American Dream, but were not emboldened to exercise the civic freedoms promised by that very dream."

At the same time, Yiorgos Anagnostou (Ohio State), recognizes that European ethnic groups (Greeks, Poles) had the opportunity to Anglicize names and "become white," an option not open to Black Americans.

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/07/27/fear-then-action-now/

publicorthodoxy.org by Yiorgos Anagnostou It is encouraging to see young scholars and emerging Greek Orthodox leaders entering the conversation about anti-racism. In a posting in this forum, Nikolaos Piperis and Stavros Piperis, scholars at the Creighton University School of Law and Youth Directors at St. John the Bapt...

themoscowtimes.com

Russia to Help Syria Build Replica Hagia Sophia Following Turkish Mosque Conversion - The Moscow Times

This is an interesting development. Will anyone outside of the Russian and Syrian governments see this as anything more than PR? Does this have potential to become a real shrine?

themoscowtimes.com The move aims to show the importance of "peaceful dialogue" between faiths.

goarch.zoom.us

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: COVID-19 and Challenges in the Orthodox Church. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

"COVID-19 and Challenges in the Orthodox Church" (Webinar)
Co-hosted with the National Council of Churches

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) | Online webinar via Zoom

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University and the National Council of Churches USA are pleased to present the first of a series of webinars highlighting some of these ecclesial challenges. The discussion will also highlight how the Church is striving to meet these challenges, as well as the opportunity arising from this task for the Orthodox churches to do this ministry together.

The broadcast will be livestreamed and open to all who have pre-registered. The event will include some time for audience questions. This event is free and open to the public.

Panelists:
Mr. Nicholas Anton, Director of Operations, Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the U.S.A.

Rev. Dr. Nicholas Denysenko, Emil & Elfrieda Jochum University Chair & Professor of Theology, Valparaiso University

Dr. Gayle Woloschak, Professor of Radiation Oncology & Radiology, Northwestern University

Register for "COVID-19 and Challenges in the Orthodox Church" here: https://goarch.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nUbTNXbqSf-KjwB4u_jC1A

goarch.zoom.us Covid–19 is a horrific disease. It is enveloping the world, with hundreds of millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. A cure is nowhere in sight, and a search for a vaccine is ongoing. The disease is challenging individuals and societies alike, in terms of social interactions, econom...

publicorthodoxy.org

The Death of Secularism: Russia, Turkey, and Western Cluelessness - Public Orthodoxy

"Many argue that we live in a post-secular world, but this declaration is true only if it was true that religion ever went away. "

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/07/22/death-of-secularism/

publicorthodoxy.org by Aristotle Papanikolaou “Secular” is a tricky word. Most associate it with “no religion,” “absence of religion,” or “decline of religion.” At one time, it was pretty much the consensus in the Western world that with increased modernization, which usually meant technological and s...

goarch.org

The Akathist Hymn by Eikona - Hymns and Audio - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

"Become for us a harbor and anchorage, for we are tossed about upon the sea of adversities."

If you cannot join your parish in praying the Akathist today, you can listen to Eikona's recording here:
https://www.goarch.org/-/akathist-hymn-eikona

Text and audio of a cantor can be found here:
https://www.goarch.org/-/learn-to-chant-the-akathist?inheritRedirect=true

goarch.org The Akathist Hymn is a Service of the Orthodox Church that invites the faithful to rejoice in the unique and sublime role the Virgin Mary played in the salvation of mankind.

publicorthodoxy.org

Hymn of Entry to the Hagia Sophia - Public Orthodoxy

Bishop Athanasius (Yevtich) of Herzegovina's essay on the occasion of the first prayers following Hagia Sophia’s reversion to a mosque, July 24, 2020. A personal, historical, and spiritual reflection on the context of today's mourning.

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/07/24/hymn-of-entry-to-the-hagia-sophia/#more-7246

publicorthodoxy.org by Bishop Athanasius (Yevtich) of Herzegovina This essay is published here on the occasion of the first prayers following Hagia Sophia’s reversion to a mosque, July 24, 2020. It was spring 1964—a difficult year for the Orthodox Greek brothers of Constantinople, because of the well-known anti-Gre...

publicorthodoxy.org

The End of Post-Soviet Religion - Public Orthodoxy

Does the recent amendment to the Russian constitution reduce the Moscow Patriarchate to a national Church?

https://publicorthodoxy.org/2020/07/20/the-end-of-post-soviet-religion/#more-7207

publicorthodoxy.org by Kristina Stoeckl As of 4 July 2020, the amendment to the Russian Constitution—first proposed by President Vladimir Putin in January, smoothly approved by the State Duma and Constitutional Court in March, and confirmed in a nationwide referendum with 78,56 per cent of votes—has taken effect. A...

forever.fordham.edu

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity

Sign up today for our webinar with Mariz Tadros on Wednesday, who has written on important topics like the pastoral care of victims of domestic abuse and human rights in the midst of the Arab Spring.

Those joining us live will have the opportunity to pose questions to Professor Tadros.

Wednesday, July 22 | 12-1pm | via Zoom (register for the link)

https://forever.fordham.edu/s/1362/18/interior.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=8686&sparam=tadros&scontid=0&_ga=2.4328115.1207710844.1595271942-268298124.1482642333

forever.fordham.edu The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is delighted to present the fifth episode of its webinar series highlighting the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Christ...

If you don't know Axia, take a look at their "Woman of the Week," Mother Katherine Weston, to get an idea of the voices that they are helping to highlight in Orthodoxy.

Mother Katherine Weston is our Woman of the Week. She was nominated for her work in racial reconciliation, her leadership of her monastery and of the Fellowship of St. Moses the Black, her iconography and writing, and her work as a psychotherapist. You can see her here with with three reliquary icons she painted for the monastery, holding an icon she restored. We asked Mother Katherine how she came into the Church:

“This is how the saints and the icons drew me into the Holy Orthodox Church: I was raised in the historic St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Harlem where my father was rector. St. Philip’s boasts a soaring neo-Gothic nave; the arches of the hammer-beam roof sit on carved corbels, each in the likeness of a different saint. One of them is St. Mary of Egypt, now my patron saint in Orthodox baptism. I credit her for praying me into the Faith.

“St. Nikolai Velimirović, the Serbian saint of great eloquence, toured parts of the U.S. in the 1920s. This was some 30 years before my father’s tenure at St. Philip’s, but the saint spoke to a crowd of 1500 African Americans there, receiving a standing ovation. I credit St. Nikolai, who loved the children of Harlem, for praying me into the Serbian Orthodox Church.

“I touched the hem of the garment of the Church during my first bout with grad school in the ’70s. A neighbor used Byzantine icons and chant during his devotions and the beauty of these touched me deeply. This encounter with otherworldly beauty acted as leaven in my creative endeavors, quietly bringing a lighter, more hopeful tone to my artwork.

“When my interest in the Orthodox Faith kindled a decade later, I began studying how to paint icons and also visiting monasteries. My catechism was from a seminary textbook on dogmatic theology, but in a sense I painted my way into the Church. Then my friends started asking me to teach them to paint. So I was baptized into the Faith and tonsured a nun in 1988; in 1989 I started teaching others what I knew of iconography to enhance their faith as well.

“When I came to the St. Xenia Monastic Community in Indianapolis in 1992, I brought iconography with me and have been painting and teaching here ever since, although in-person classes are now suspended. A handful of my students have gone on to study with master teachers and become competent in their own right, but most paint because it is a form of prayer that nourishes them as it has nourished me all these years.”

Axia!

Our Story

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center supports academic research in the history, thought, and culture of Orthodox Christianity broadly understood. The Center has educational initiatives, including an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Orthodox Studies, National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowships, and a multi-year Henry Luce Foundation grant to study Orthodox Christianity and Human Rights. Visit www.fordham.edu/orthodoxy to learn more.

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