Steppingstone to Contemplation: Asceticism and Theology in Scripture and Tradition


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Sixth Annual Patristic Symposium in Honor of Fr. Georges Florovsky
St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan PA

“Practical virtue is the steppingstone to contemplation. Labor to cultivate your soul by means of the body.” (St. Gregory the Theologian, Or. 20.12)

The “Florovsky Symposium” is an annual tradition started by a scholarly society at Princeton University. Having chosen the theme of asceticism, the organizing committee is grateful to hold this year’s proceedings at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, the oldest Orthodox Christian monastery in America.
Please join us for an evening and day of lectures, discussion, fellowship, and prayer. The Florovsky Symposium attracts scholars, clergy, and laity from around the world who are interested in combining serious scholarly inquiry with faithfulness to the Tradition of the Church.
This Year’s Theme
What part does the ascetical cultivation of body and soul play in theologizing rightly? What is the relationship between direct experience of God and the indirect knowledge of him through study of nature and of scripture and other inspired texts? How much should terms and concepts formulated by human philosophy be applied to the articulation of divinely revealed truth?

We will be asking these and other related questions in lectures and discussion. 
This Year’s Featured Speakers 
The plenary speakers are:
  • Hieromonk Nikolai Sakharov (Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Essex, England), Elder Sophrony Sakharov as an ascetic theologian
  • Mary Ford (St. Tikhon’s Seminary), Revelation, asceticism, and biblical interpretation
  • Brian Dunkle, S.J. (Boston College), St. Ambrose as an ascetic bishop and theologian
  • Nicholas Marinides (Holy Cross School of Theology), Lay asceticism in the Fathers

Giving Your Own Short Paper
The organizing committee also invites abstracts for concurrent short paper presentations from advanced graduate students and established scholars (deadline of January 20). Please download and read the full “Call for Papers” before submitting your abstract.

The symposium will begin at 7 PM on Friday, February 24 with a keynote lecture by Hieromonk Nikolai Sakharov. Refreshments will follow. The proceedings will begin again at 9 AM on Saturday, February 25 (after the Divine Liturgy is celebrated) and end around 3:45 PM. A light continental breakfast and lunch will be served on Saturday.
Space is limited and registration is required. The fee is $30, which includes refreshments, continental breakfast, lunch, and program tuition. 
Overnight lodging is not included, but recommendations and a group rate at an area hotel will be available soon.

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Sixth Annual Patristic Symposium in Honor of Fr. Georges Florovsky
St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan PA