The Office of Vocation & Ministry and the Orthodox Theological Society in America are cosponsoring a conference on "The Orthodox Scholar in the Academy: Does it Matter? Should it Matter?" in Chicago, June 12–13, 2008. Orthodox faculty from academic institutions across the nation are encouraged to submit proposals through OTSA, and are welcome to contact Ann Bezzerides or Tony Vrame for more information. A full description of the project can be downloaded from this website.
To our knowledge, there has been no sustained reflection on the presence of Orthodox Christians in higher education in the United States and on the question of "Orthodox particularity" in this milieu. There may be a number of reasons, but two come to mind. First, since most Orthodox have not faced outright discrimination, there is a general acceptance of Orthodox Christians in the academy - we are different, but not that different. Second, the Orthodox churches in America have had a relatively short history of establishing institutions of undergraduate higher education, being content with theological education for clerical preparation. Hellenic College, founded in 1968, is the only undergraduate institution still extant. There have been other attempts as well: the short-lived Rose Hill College (Aiken, SC) and a relationship between St. Vladimir's Seminary and Iona College.
The Orthodox Theological Society in America wishes to explore the potential impact, if any, of the Orthodox Christian scholar in the academy. Thus far, at least six lines of questioning frame this investigation. These, we believe, can begin and sustain a conversation on the vocation of the Orthodox Christian scholar:
WHAT: A conference titled "The Orthodox Scholar in the Academy: Does it Matter? Should it Matter?"
WHERE & WHEN: Chicago, June 12–13, 2008.
COSPONSORED BY: The Orthodox Theological Society in America and the Office of Vocation & Ministry.
WHO: Orthodox faculty from academic institutions across the nation are encouraged to submit proposals through OTSA, and are welcome to contact Ann Bezzerides, OVM Director, or Tony Vrame, OTSA President, to discuss proposal ideas. Graduate students interested in attending the conference should contact Ann Bezzerides.
KEYNOTE: Andrea Sterk, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida will speak on "Faith and Learning in Higher Education: Historical Reflections for Orthodox Scholars Today."
Sterk's recent books include Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church. The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity (Harvard University Press, 2004), and Religion, Scholarship, and Higher Education. Perspectives, Models, & Future Prospects (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002). Read more.
* Visit www.otsamerica.org
* Read the PDF of the conference description: The Orthodox Scholar in the Academy