2018 St Andrew's Patristic Symposium

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2018 St Andrew’s 8th Patristic Symposium

With the blessing of our college Dean, His Eminence Archbishop STYLIANOS of Australia, the Eighth Patristic Symposium took place at St Andrew’s from 24-25 August. The theme of this year’s Symposium was ‘Saint Irenaeus of Lyons: History, Theology & Significance of the Apologists’, and was organised by Professor James Harrison (Director of Research, Sydney College of Divinity) and Dr Philip Kariatlis (Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology, St Andrew’s).

His Grace Bishop Siluan (Mrakic) of the Serbian Orthodox Church, a College alumnus, opened the Symposium with prayer. Another College alumnus, the Very Revd Sophronios Konidaris, College Chaplain, read out the official greeting of His Eminence to all the delegates, briefly introducing the keynote speaker and thanking also the additional fifteen presenters. The symposium was attended by seventy delegates.

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Organised by:

Dr Philip Kariatlis & Professor James R. Harrison


Symposium Program

Photo Gallery

The importance of St Irenaeus of Lyons for the history of theological reflection is hardly disputed by modern scholarship today. He has been heralded as the first great father of the Christian Church in whom we see, for the very first time, all elements that came to be constitutive of Christian theology: rule of faith, tradition and succession, the recognition of the books of the New Testament as Scripture and so much more. Indeed, he was able to highlight the way these varied elements of the Christian faith were able to be held together within the early Christian communities in much the same way that, within a symphony, different voices are brought together and in harmony. Presented as a mosaic of Christ preached by the apostles and ‘in accordance with the Scriptures’, his comprehensive theological vision came to be regarded as the very foundations and identity of Christianity. In revisiting this great father, this Symposium will enable us to look afresh at some of the foundational elements of early Christianity helping us call to mind the coherence of the Christian faith and how this might be expounded today within a pluralistic culture such as ours. 

A video recording of the keynote presentation is available on the College’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.


Keynote Speaker

Very Revd Prof. John Behr

Keynote Address:
St Irenaeus of Lyons and the School of John   (1hr 50mins) 

Handout from Keynote Presentation

Abstract: When St Irenaeus expounded, for the first time in history, the contours of the Orthodox faith, appealing to the canon of truth, the tradition of the apostles, apostolic succession, and using, for the first time, all the books of the New Testament as Scripture, in giving, again for the first time, an account of the whole economy of God, with his Hands, the Son and the Spirit, bringing the creature formed from mud to share in his life and glory, he did so by self-consciously appealing to the tradition, and indeed, living memory of John, the disciple of the Lord. This lecture will look at the legacy of John in his ‘school’, that is figures such as St Polycarp, Melito, and Polycrates, all culminating in the person of St Irenaeus of Lyons, an Easterner in the West.




Select Bibiliography

  •  Irenaeus of Lyons: Identifying Christianity, Christian Theology in Context (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Becoming Human: Meditations on Christian Anthropology in Word and Image (Crestwood, NY, SVS Press, 2013)
  • St Athanasius: On the Incarnation, translation and introduction, Popular Patristics Series (Crestwood, NY, SVS Press, 2011)
  • The Case Against Diodore and Theodore: Texts and Their Contexts, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 526pp.
  • The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 2006). 186 pp.
  • The Nicene Faith,vol. 2 of The Formation of Christian Theology (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 2004). 2 vols in paper; single hardcover volume 580 pp.
  • (ed. with A. Louth and D. Conomos), Abba: The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West: Festschrift for Bishop Kallistos Ware (New York: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2003). 376 pp.
  • The Way to Nicaea, vol. 1 of The Formation of Christian Theology (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2001). 261 pp.

Romanian translation (Bucharest: Sophia, 2004); Russian translation (Tver: Hermeneutica, 2006)

  • Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 261 pp.
  • St Irenaeus of Lyons: On the Apostolic Preaching (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1997). 121 pp. 



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