Monday, 27 August 2018

Sorry to miss the IOCS
annual conference in
Cambridge this week

The annual conference in Cambridge organised by the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies takes place in Cambridge on Friday and Saturday

Patrick Comerford

I am disappointed that I cannot take part later this week in the annual conference in Cambridge organised by the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies.

For many years, I have taken part in this conference at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and since 2008 the IOCS has played an important role in my continuing education and in my spiritual growth.

This week, the conference in Cambridge takes place on Friday [31 August 2018] and Saturday [1 September 2018] at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. The conference topic this year is: ‘The Newness of the Old: Tradition, Doctrine and Christian Life between Preservation and Innovation.’

For more details, enrolments and payments please go to the IOCS website here.

You can find a poster/flyer for the event here.

The keynote speakers at this year’s conference are: Dr Brandon Gallaher, University of Exeter; Revd Prof Nikolaos Loudovikos, University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki; Revd Prof Andrew Louth, Durham University; and Prof 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, Cambridge; Ryan Hacker, University of Cambridge; Prof 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.

In Christianity, the 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 outperforms 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.

A conference programme/flyer can be downloaded here.

Information about how to get to Sidney Sussex College can be found here.

In advance of the conference, the IOCS has organised a half-day programme of talks delivered by three Visiting Scholars at the end of their research period in Cambridge. This session takes place on Thursday morning [30 August 2018], from 10 am to 12 noon at Wesley House.

The Revd Dr Natanael Neacsu, the Revd Teofil Pantiru and Diogene Mihaila, all from Romania, will present 20-minute papers, summarising their research project.

Their presentations are followed by a Q&A session.

The IOCS is offering a new MA in Spirituality and a new MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief

Meanwhile, enrolment is still open until Friday [31 August] for the October 2018 intake, and until 1 December for the January 2019 intake for the new MA in Spirituality and the new MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief at IOCS. These courses are offered full-time or part-time, on-site or by distance-learning.

These two new MA programmes are suitable for people who are interested in ministry and professional or personal development for today’s world. They are taught in conjunction with the Cambridge Theological Federation, and the MA degree is awarded by Anglia Ruskin University.

The modules on the MA in Spirituality include: Human Condition; Christian Spirituality in Context; Mystery of Love; Christianity and Ecology; Ecumenism in Theory and Practice; Orthodox Spirituality; and Life in Spirituality.

The MA in Spirituality offers participants a lively debate on the meaning and the role of spirituality in the context of the Christian traditions as well as in today’s multi-cultural and multi-religious environments.

The course is available as a Postgraduate Certificate in Spirituality (two modules), a Postgraduate Diploma in Spirituality (four modules) and the MA in Spirituality (four modules and a 15,000-word dissertation).

The options include full-time or part-time study, choosing from online or classroom lectures and seminars, and some modules will be available by block teaching in Cambridge over one or two weeks.

The modules on the MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief include: Secularisation and Christianity; Mystery of Love; Ecumenism in Theory and Practice; Christianity and Ecology; Theology and Science; and Philosophical Theology.

The MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief offers students a timely debate about the role of faith and belief in the contemporary world.

This course in also available as a Postgraduate Certificate in Contemporary Faith and Belief (two modules), a Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Faith and Belief (four modules), and the MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief (four modules and a 15,000-word dissertation).

This too is available full-time or part-time, through online or classroom lectures and seminars, and some modules will be available by block teaching in Cambridge over one or two weeks.

Further information about the courses, including admissions process and fees, are available on the IOCS website: www.iocs.cam.ac.uk

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