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Faith & Learning Symposium Held at Hellenic College

Christian scholars from around the country recently convened at Hellenic College to discuss the pivotal role their religious faith plays in their research and teaching. The Saint Photios the Great Faith and Learning Symposium, hosted by the Office of Vocation & Ministry, was held on February 3rd and 4th, 2006.

Photo of Fr. John Behr Speaking at SymposiumThe symposium opened with a faculty luncheon on Friday, February 3rd. Dr. William Cavanaugh of Saint Thomas University led the faculty in an engaging discussion of his article “Sailing Under True Colors: Academic Freedom in the Ecclesially-Based University” that appeared in Conflicting Allegiances: The Church-Based University in a Liberal Democratic Society. Following the luncheon, both visiting and campus faculty scholars led workshops for Hellenic College students on how they might personally relate faith to their education in order to benefit from the spiritual and academic opportunities on campus. Friday evening, Rev. Dr. John Behr, Professor of Patristics at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, offered the keynote address, “Plundering the Egyptians: the Use of Classical Paideia in the Early Church.”

The second day of the symposium continued with Dr. Vera Shevzov, Associate Professor of Religion at Smith College, speaking on the teaching and research of Orthodoxy in the secular academy. Rev. Dn. Gregory Roeber of Pennsylvania State University spoke about the perils of developing a bunker mentality as an Orthodox scholar. Rev. Dr. Eugen Pentiuc offered the final presentation, highlighting biblical scholarship’s role in enhancing our faith. Following the presentations, Dr. Tal Howard of Gordon College joined the scholars for a panel discussion on Christian higher education.

The keynote address and Saturday panel discussions were open to the public. The school welcomed, in addition to its students and faculty, guests from Boston College and Gordon College, students from local Orthodox Christian Fellowship chapters, and members from local Orthodox parishes.

The Saint Photios the Great Faith and Learning Symposium is one of the many unique programs sponsored by the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College and is part of a five-year program funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. To receive information on upcoming events sponsored by the OVM, or to be placed on the mailing list, please contact the OVM.