2012 St Andrew's Patristic Symposium

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St Andrew's Fourth Patristic Symposium
'St Athanasius the Great'

With the blessing of our college Dean, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, the Fourth Patristic Symposium took place at St Andrew’s from 28-29 September, 2012. The theme of this year’s Symposium was ‘St Athansius the Great’, and was convened by the Very Revd Dr Doru Costache and Dr Philip Kariatlis (Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology, St Andrew’s). The Keynote paper was delivered by Dr Adam Cooper (John Paul II Institute, Melbourne VIC) and was entitled "The Gift of Receptivity:St Athanasius on the Security of Salvation"

Select proceedings from this Symposium were published as peer reviewed journal articles in St Andrew's Theological Review, Phronema 28:2 (2013).

Convened by:

The Very Revd Dr Doru Costache and Dr Philip Kariatlis


Symposium Booklet

Photo Gallery


We welcome presentations from the different disciplines of Christian theology interested in further reflecting on this central doctrine of the Church, irrespective of their field of expertise, academic affiliations or denominational background. Indeed, it is hoped that this cross-disciplinary approach (whether this be systematic theology, patristics, ethics, biblical studies, church history, liturgics, etc) will contribute by casting further light - indeed a more enriching and holistic perspective - to this most significant Christian teaching.

Keynote Speaker

Dr Adam Cooper

Keynote Address:
"The Gift of Receptivity:St Athanasius on the Security of Salvation"

Abstract: Anxieties about the security of personal salvation are commonly thought to feature mostly in protestant and individualising soteriologies. In such soteriologies, security of salvation is held to be contingent upon various subjective or psychological factors such as sincerity of individual decision or persistence of personal faith. But reflection on the question of salvation’s security is not without certain prominence in orthodox Christian tradition. Saint Athanasius was among a number of Fathers who sought to ascertain the conditions for securing human salvation. Given that human beings are essentially prone to defection from divine grace, and that their receptivity to God's deifying gifts is so fickle and irregular, how is the mediation of grace to human beings through Jesus Christ protected from loss? While Saint Athanasius does not overlook the role of human willing, his main answer is to locate the certainty of salvation in the bodily humanity of the Word incarnate. Since that humanity is permanently receptive to grace, so that in Christ grace is ‘irrevocable’ (ametameletos), all who partake in his body share in the stability of its receptivity. By appropriating our mutable physical humanity, the Word has rendered it immutable, thereby securing its freedom and making certain its capacity to attain salvation.



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