The program aims to introduce students to the life, faith and practice of the Orthodox Churches especially as it is expressed in the Byzantine, Coptic, Syriac and the Tewahedo traditions. The student will be introduced to how these traditions express their faith through liturgy, history, dogma, monasticism, spirituality and contemporary ecclesial life. There will be opportunities to ponder how these traditions express their view on spirituality such as how liturgical life is understood to reveal the existential meaning of the world. There will also be opportunities to consider other aspects of these traditions such as how different regimes and sociopolitical settings have shaped the Orthodox Churches and how dogma has evolved, and in particular how developments in Christological dogma resulted in a division between the Oriental and the Byzantine churches.
Finally, participants will consider ecclesiastical life, from the perspective that churches exist in the context of contemporary life. Here issues such as organization and canon law will be addressed as well as challenges facing these traditions that arise from being a part of contemporary Western society and a globalized world.
From this broad pan-orthodox perspective the student will gain a good foundation and overview of this fascinating Christian tradition.
Courses within the program:
- Orthodox faith: An Introduction, 7.5 credits
- Orthodox faith: Dogma and History, 7.5 credits
- Orthodox faith: Asceticism and Monasticism, 7.5 credits
- Orthodox faith: Contemporary Life, 7.5 credits