Summer school








The School of Pastoral and Social Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki organizes a short and comprehensive programme of one week courses at the Macedonian city of Veroia, where St Paul’s podium and a multitude of byzantine churches and monasteries.

The Course has been planned in order to present and promote the educative riches of Orthodox Theology and its cultural treasure.

LOCATION: Veroia, at the privately owned site of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

TARGET GROUP: The Course is addressed to all interested undergraduate and post-graduate students currently enrolled in an academic institution, both from Greece and abroad, who wish to gain a deeper understanding and experience of Orthodox theological writings and spirituality.

COURSE AIM: The purpose of the Course is to offer a series of foundational lessons in Orthodox Theology by combining knowledge based understanding and direct, personal, cultural interaction with the local tradition. The lessons will address the key disciplines of Orthodox Theology: Biblical Studies (Old and New Testament), Patrology and Hagiology, Church History, Dogmatics and Ecumenical Relations, Liturgics and the Christian Arts, Canon Law, Pastoral Care and Christian Sociology, Christian Ethics. It is expected that, upon successful completion of the Course, the students will have acquired a broad and general overview of the major fields of Orthodox Theology, as well as a basic understanding of Orthodox Spirituality and the culture that emerges from it.

STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE: Four hours of instruction will be offered daily (4 Χ 7=28 classroom hours). Sessions will begin on Sunday morning with a visit to an Orthodox Church, where we will attend the Divine Liturgy. The Course will conclude on Saturday afternoon with a Farewell Social. The program also includes some excursions to archeological sites and museums, as well as a social event with ecclesiastical and other local constituents of the city. In addition, it is possible that, during the late evening hours, after the scheduled teaching sessions, other educational activities may be introduced by the instructors, ones that will supplement the teaching sessions.

The teaching sessions consist of the following units:

I) The Exegesis of Holy Scripture (Old and New Testament) on select biblical texts according to the patristic tradition. Detection of forerunner use of later hermeneutical methods by the Fathers of the Church and accentuation of the possibility of hermeneutical renewal and deeper theological understanding through patristic interpretation.

II) Patrology and Hagiology with the study of significant chapters of the Orthodox literary tradition. Select presentation of patristic theology and the ways in which it responds to contemporary spiritual issues.

III) Church History with highlighting the major historical events of the Byzantine culture and of the Orthodox Hellenism.

IV) Dogmatics and Ecumenical Relations with the interpretation of select dogmatic and symbolic texts, including a focus on the Orthodox witness in contemporary theological dialogues.

V) Liturgics and the Christian Arts with a presentation of the Orthodox ecclesiastical tradition from a liturgical, worship, aesthetic and architectural perspective, including visits to Byzantine monuments. An introduction to the art of chant.

VI) Canon Law with reference to ecclesial institutions and organisms.

VII) Pastoral Care and the Sociology of Christianity with a presentation of the patristic understanding of social issues and pastoral care.

VIII) Christian Ethics according to the teaching of the Fathers and in reference to the contemporary challenges.

Emphasis will be given on the inter-thematic and multifaceted presentation of the topics and its connection with the contemporary orthodox reality and the local culture, monumental, customary, and ecclesial. To this end, beyond the tours scheduled to take place during the teaching sessions, additional (optional) opportunities will be offered for participation in first hand experiences, such as the attendance at vespers at the skete of St John the Forerunner, where St Gregory Palamas resided, visits to archaeological sites etc.

PERIOD: Sunday 25 – Saturday 31 August 2013

STUDY-LOAD AND CREDITS: Attendance and successful completion of the Course awards participants 2 ECTS and a Certificate of Further Education.

FEE: 250 euro per person

OVERSIGHT COMMITEE: Assoc. Prof. Dr Kyriakoula Papademetriou (academic director of the course), Prof. Dr Athanasios Karathanasis (president of the School), and Assoc. Prof. Dr Symeon Paschalidis.

ACCOMODATION: Electronic addresses, with regard to accommodations and transfers, will be posted soon so that students may directly make arrangements for their participation.