Fordham University will offer the nation’s first undergraduate minor degree in Orthodox Christian Studies starting with the Fall 2007 semester, at the Rose Hill campus, and will launch the program at the Lincoln Center campus in 2008. Details of the interdisciplinary degree will be unveiled at, “Orthodox Readings of Augustine,” the first international conference of the Orthodoxy in America lecture series, to be held June 14 through 16 on the Rose Hill campus.
“Historically, there has been a sizeable population of Orthodox students at Fordham and this program will allow those students and their classmates to engage this tradition in an intellectually active and open way,” said George Demacopoulos, Ph.D., assistant professor of historical theology. He added, “Because New York city is the cultural and administrative home for many Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic communities, Fordham University is uniquely suited to take the lead in Orthodox-Catholic initiatives.”
The interdisciplinary minor will consist of two required courses, Byzantine Christianity and Orthodox Christian Ethics, and four electives among several departments. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., associate professor of theology and associate chair for undergraduate studies at Lincoln Center, will co-direct the program.
The announcement of the program also coincides with the University’s conferral of an honorary doctorate upon Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, at the opening session of the June 14 conference.
The conference schedule also includes plenary addresses by Brian Daley, S.J., Ph.D., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame; Jean-Luc Marion, Ph.D., Professor of the Philosophy of Religion and Theology, University of Chicago Divinity School; David Bentley Hart, Ph.D., Robert J. Randall Chair in Christian Culture, Providence College; and David Tracy, S.T.L., S.T.D., Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies, University of Chicago Divinity School.
In addition the plenary sessions, there will be a keynote address by Andrew Louth, Ph.D., on “St. Augustine’s Reading of the Psalms,” and a series of symposiums on St. Augustine’s readings, writings and theology, including “Reading Augustine’s Pneumatology in Pro-Nicene Context” and “Augustine the Metaphysician.” The conference, organized to apply St. Augustine’s thought toward uniting Eastern and Western Christians, is co-sponsored by the Kallinikeion Foundation, the Augustinian Institute of Villanova University, and Fordham’s Dean of Faculty, Deans of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, the Center for Medieval Studies and the Department of Theology. A full schedule of events is available on the conference’s website.
Fordham has the only Department of Theology in the nation with two faculty members— Demacopoulos and Papanikolaou—who are graduates of an Orthodox seminary.