Now in its fourth year, the "Florovsky Symposium" is known for combining churchly piety with high-level scholarly inquiry. It attracts a large and diverse cohort of established scholars, clergy, graduate students, seminarians, and Christian believers from around the country and the world.
The purpose of this year's symposium is to re-consider the various theological questions raised by the doctrine of creation ex nihilo in the Church Fathers (Greek, Latin, and Oriental), while simultaneously taking into account related controversies and developments in 20th century Christian theology. We will examine such issues as the God-world relationship, divine and human freedom, sophiology, contingency, nature and will, analogia entis, and the divine ideas or "volitional thoughts" concerning creation. The symposium seeks a direct and sustained engagement with the metaphysical issues themselves on dogmatic, philosophical, and historical-textual grounds. The goal is at once to re-consider the systematic debates with an eye to patristic precedents, and to re-examine the most important patristic sources with modern questions in mind.
The symposium is organized by the Florovsky Society at Princeton University and the department of Continuing Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. The co-chairs are Matthew Baker and Seraphim Danckaert.
Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos (Th.D., Thessaloniki) is Head of the Department of Theological and Pastoral Studies at University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki. He is author of A Eucharistic Ontology: Maximus the Confessor's Eschatological Ontology of Being as Dialogical Reciprocity (Holy Cross, 2010). He will lecture on St. Maximus the Confessor.
Dr. Matthew Levering (Ph.D., Boston College) is Perry Family Foundation Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary. He is the author of 13 books and co-editor of 12 others, including The Theology of Augustine (Baker Academic, 2013). He will lecture on St. Augustine at the symposium.
Dr. Khaled Anatolios (Ph.D., Boston College) is Professor of Historical Theology at the School of Theology and Ministry and the Department of Theology, Boston College. He is a noted expert on St. Athanasius the Great, about whom he will lecture.
Dcn. Paul Gavrilyuk (Ph.D., Southern Methodist University) is Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of several books, including Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014). He will lecture on the sophiology of Fr. Sergii Bulgakov.
Dr. Paul Blowers (Ph.D., Notre Dame) is Dean E. Walker Professor of Church History at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. He is the author of many publications, including Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety (OUP, 2012). He will lecture on the Pre-Nicene Fathers.
Dr. Joost van Rossum (Ph.D., Fordham) is Professor of Church History at the Institute of Orthodox Theology St. Serge in Paris. He is an expert in the theology of St. Gregory Palamas, about whom he will speak at the symposium.