"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Searching for the Sacred in Fort Wayne

A report and final reminder, as I wrote a few weeks ago, about the upcoming conference here in Ft. Wayne this weekend. We really hope to have a good turnout for its own sake, but also as an indication of interest sufficient to turn this into an annual event. So do come if you are at all able, and do spread the word. As I wrote last month: 

I have the happy and high privilege of collaborating with my friends at the OCA parish in Ft. Wayne, the Archpriest Andrew Jarmus and the Protodeacon Michael Myers, in co-hosting a conference entitled "Searching for the Sacred." To be held the evening of August 9 and all day on the 10th, at both St. Nicholas parish and on the campus of the University of Saint Francis, the conference will feature three speakers, including the OCA's bishop of the Bulgarian diocese, Alexander (Golitzin), who taught at Marquette University for more than two decades. Fr. Silviu Bunta of the University of Dayton and Fr. Peter Galadza of Saint Paul University, Ottawa, are the other two speakers.

Details of the conference may be had here. I do encourage all within the area not only to come, but to continue to spread the word. Fort Wayne is an easy drive from many major cities (Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, etc.) where there are large numbers of Eastern Christians of all traditions. Others, Catholics especially, but also Protestants and Jews interested in the topics, are heartily encouraged to register and come. It is designed not as a "heavy" academic conference but as something to benefit lay people interested in the search for the sacred in liturgy, the Scriptures (especially the Jewish scriptures), and monastic-ascetical life, showing the connection of all these with "everyday" life.

His Grace Bishop Alexander is a scholar of the Fathers, of the spiritual life, and of early Christianity in general. This fall he has a book coming out that builds on some of his earlier work: Mystagogy: A Monastic Reading of Dionysius Areopagita, ed. Bogdan Bocur (Cistercian Press, November 2013), 416pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
Mystagogy proposes an interpretation of the Pseudo-Dionysian corpus in light of the liturgical and ascetic tradition that defined the author and his audience. Characterized by both striking originality and remarkable fidelity to the patristic and late neoplatonic traditions, the Dionysian corpus is a coherent and unified structure, whose core and pivot is the treatise known as the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. Given Pseudo-Dionysius fundamental continuity with earlier Christian theology and spirituality, it is not surprising that the church, and in particular the ascetic community, recognized that this theological synthesis articulated its own fundamental experience and aspirations.

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