25 June 2018

IOCS announces details
for the 2018 summer
conference in Cambridge

The illustration from the poster for this year’s IOCS conference in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge

Patrick Comerford

The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge has announced in the past week details of this year’s annual conference, which takes place from 31 August to 1 September 2018, at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

For many years, this summer conference has played an important role in my theological education and my professional development.

The conference this year addresses the topic: ‘The Newness of the Old: Tradition, Doctrine and Christian Life between Preservation and Innovation.’

In Christianity, preservation of tradition and innovation are complexly intertwined. On the one hand, an act of resistance to change can turn out to be an original move that out-performs fashionable new ideas and practices.

On the other hand, the audacious introduction of the ‘new’ is at times the only way to safeguard the faithful continuation of tradition. Yet innovation can also weaken tradition and lead to its destruction, and faithfulness to tradition may degenerate into an ossified and lifeless traditionalism.

A consistently Trinitarian theology and practice must transcend any simplistic dichotomy between a conservative and a progressive outlook on life.

Paradoxically, it is precisely the ‘old’ that manifests itself as the ‘ever-new’. The question as to how to balance the interplay of continuity and discontinuity remains one of the main challenges for Orthodox theology in the 21st century. The aim of the conference is to explore how the complex interrelationship between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ is to be conceived of.

For more details, enrolments and payments, please visit the IOCS website here. A poster/flyer for the conference here. A detailed programme for the conference will be uploaded shortly on the IOCS website.

The keynote speakers this year include: Dr Brandon Gallaher (University of Exeter), the Revd Prof Nikolaos Loudovikos (University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki), the Revd Prof Andrew Louth (Durham University), and Professor Jens Zimmerman (Trinity Western University).

Papers will be presented by: Barnabas Aspray (University of Cambridge), Lucian George Berciu (University of Fribourg), Richard Choate (Graduate Theological Union and University of California, Berkeley), Dr Viorel Coman (KU Leuven), Dr Christine Mangala Frost (IOCS), Ryan Hacker (University of Cambridge), Professor Sigríður Halldórsdóttir (University of Akureyri), Dr Smilen Markov (University of Veliko Turnovo / University of Oxford), Michael Miller (University of Cambridge), Ben Morris (Diocese of Sourozh), Yuliia Rozumna (Nottingham University), and Stefan Zelijkovic (University of Belgrade).

Conference enrolment for two days, with meals, is £340. Conference enrolment for two days with no meals is £250. Coffee/tea and biscuits will be provided for all participants. The prices above do not include accommodation. Since places are limited, intending participants may prefer to reserve a place with a non-refundable deposit of £100.

Bookings may be made through the IOCS website.

Accommodation arrangements need to be made directly with Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge … the venue for this year’s IOCS annual conference (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

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