The program aims to introduce participants to the life, faith and practices of the Orthodox Churches as expressed in the Byzantine, Coptic, Syriac and the Tewahedo traditions. Participants will engage with how these traditions express their faith through liturgy, history, dogma, monasticism, spirituality and contemporary ecclesial life. There will be opportunities to ponder and discuss spiritual subjects such as how liturgical life, as an act of love towards God reveals the existential meaning of the world; how monastic ideals express a formative way to become truly human, and how saints as theophoroi, “god bearers”, become gatekeepers that open the door for sinners to enter the joy of the Kingdom. 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 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, given 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 a contemporary Western society.
From this broad pan-orthodox perspective participants will gain a good, foundational overview of this fascinating Christian tradition. This program, taught as a part-time distance course, is ideal for those who want to deepen their knowledge of Orthodox traditions while still maintaining a day-job, or alongside other studies.
Courses within the program:
- Orthodox faith: An Introduction
- Orthodox faith: Dogma and History
- Orthodox faith: Monasticism and Asceticism
- Orthodox faith: Contemporary Life
Below you will find a link to the application form, where you can specify which of the courses within the program you intend to study this semester.