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Theology Symposium 2017

2017 St Andrew’s Theology Symposium





The Symposium will be held Friday 1 September - Saturday 2 September, 2017 at St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College - 242 Cleveland St, Redfern, NSW, 2016.


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 To attend the symposium, please download, complete and return the registration form


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Keynote Speaker 1

Dr Aristotle Papanikolaou

Professor of Theology, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture and Co-Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Centre


‘From Sophia to Personhood: The Development of 20th Century Orthodox Trinitarian Theology’


This presentation will trace the development of trinitarian theology, beginning with Sergius Bulgakov and including Dumitru Stăniloae, Vladimir Lossky and John Zizioulas.  It will demonstrate how much of contemporary Orthodox theology on the Trinity, although projecting itself as a neo-Patristic synthesis, is, in large part, a footnote to Bulgakov.  I will also argue how the development of a contemporary Orthodox theology of the personhood is both consistent with patristic theology and a result of hermeneutical and existential contextuality.  


Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou is a Professor of Theology and the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture. He is Co-Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Centre at Fordham University, and Senior Fellow at the Emory University Centre for the Study of Law and Religion. In 2012, he received the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities.

Since co-founding the Orthodox Christian Centre in 2012, he has dedicated his time to building the Centre’s endowment and starting a host of globally-recognised initiatives such as the National Endowment for the Humanities Matching Challenge Grant, which funds two annual research fellowships in Orthodox Studies at Fordham. This year, he co-launched a new international and interdisciplinary journal in Orthodox Christian Studies.

He is the author of many books and peer reviewed articles. One of his books, Being with God: Trinity, Apophaticism and Divine-Human Communion is an analysis of the Trinitarian theology of several contemporary Orthodox scholars. In this work, Papanikolaou argues that, despite different emphases their doctrine of the Trinity is grounded in the experience of divine-human communion in Christ by the Holy Spirit.  

Other titles of some of his works include:

  • The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012). 
  • Modes of Godly Being: Reflections on the Virtues in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, eds. Aristotle Papanikolaou and Perry Hamalis, Studies in Christian Ethics 26:3 (August 2013). 
  • Orthodox Constructions of the ‘West’, eds. George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013). 
  • Orthodox Readings of Augustine, eds. George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008). 
  • Thinking through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars, eds. Aristotle Papanikolaou and Elizabeth Prodromou (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008) 


Keynote Speaker 2

Revd Dr Gerard Kelly

President, Catholic Institute of Sydney, Professor of Theology, Sydney College of Divinity


‘The Action of God in the World and in the Life of the Believer: the Trinity and the Sacraments’


In order to consider the action of God in the world as an act of the Trinity, this paper will begin by setting up some building blocks.  One will be the axiom of Karl Rahner that the economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity and vice versa.  Another will be St Augustine’s consideration of the Trinity in terms of (mutual) love.  Once these building blocks have been established the paper will examine how the Christian believer is brought into communion with God.  Attention will be given to sacramental initiation (baptism, and confirmation/chrismation), as well as to the Eucharist.  Through participation in the sacraments the believer is engaged in the worship of the Triune God not only in the liturgy, but also, outside the liturgy, in the existential context of life.  In this sense, Christian living is properly a participation in the life of the Trinity.


The Revd Professor Gerard Kelly is the President of the Catholic Institute of Sydney since 2004; he joined the faculty in 1986. He is a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. His postgraduate studies were at the Collège universitaire domincain in Ottawa, Canada, where his doctoral supervisor was Jean-Marie Tillard and his dissertation was on the most widely distributed and studied ecumenical document of the  World Council of Churches Baptism, Eucharist Ministry document. He is the editor of the Australasian Catholic Record, Catholic co-Chair of the Australian Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue and past Chair of the Faith and Unity Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia. His research interests lie in sacramental theology, particularly its significance for the he unity of the Church and its relationship to the Trinitarian doctrine. 

Some of his most popular publications include:

  • Eat this Bread Drink this Cup: Eucharistic Practice in Australian Churches, eds Ray Williamson & Gerard Kelly (Sydney: NSW Ecumenical Council, 2004).
  • Recognition Advanced Ecumenical Thinking. New York: Peter Lang, 1996.
  • Celebrating with Children, with Robert Borg and Brian Lucas. Two volumes. Sydney; E.J. Dwyer, 1990.
  • "Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church" in Baptism: Historical, Theological and Pastoral Perspectives, ed. Gordon L. Heath & James D. Dvorak. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011, pp. 26-52.
  • "Episkope: A Recent Study of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue in Australia", One in Christ 44(2010); 153-167.
  • "The Place of the Church in Christian Spirituality", Terra Spiritus vol 5, issue 1(2009).
  • "Called to be the One Church: A Step on the Ecumenical Journey", PHRONEMA 23(2008); 11-21.