YEAR TWO — DOCTORAL COURSES

ETH (PAT) 896.
Christian Ethics,
Very Rev. Professor Michel Najim
(August/September, 3 Credits).
This course seeks to explore the roots of Orthodox Spirituality and to study the contemporary moral issues from three perspectives: 1) Spirituality / morality in the Patristic tradition; 2) Practicing Patristic morality in modern society; and 3) Facing contemporary moral issues. This course consists, principally, of a close reading of ethical Patristic texts. Students will make two seminar presentations of approved topics, and the course will conclude with a research paper on moral issues, which will serve as the final examination, read and discussed in tutorial-style format.

PAT (THE & HIS) 897.
The Christology of John Damascene and Gregory Palamas,
Professor Christopher Veniamin
(August/September, 3 Credits).
A study of the Patristic understanding of the central doctrine of the Christian Faith: Christ, the Person of the Son and Word of God, as true and perfect God and true and perfect man. This course is offered in seminar format, and consists, principally, of a close reading of St. John Damascene’s Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith and St. Gregory Palamas’ Homilies (Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies or The Saving Work of Christ). Students will make a seminar presentation of an approved topic, and the course will conclude with a research paper on The Knowability of God in St. Gregory Palamas, which will serve as the final examination, read and discussed individually with the professor in tutorial-style format.

YEAR TWO — DOCTORAL SEMINARS/TUTORIALS

PAT (THE & HIS) 898.
A Study of Theosis in the Greek and Syriac-speaking Fathers,
Very Rev. Professor Michel Najim
(May, 3 Credits).
By means of a close reading of texts, with discussion and student presentations, this course will consist of an in-depth study of both the Greek-speaking Fathers and the Syriac-speaking Fathers. Offered in seminar format, a wide range of themes will be covered, including, the spirituality of the heart in the Syriac tradition, the distinction between love and affection, theosis in an unhellenized Syriac language, the created and the controversy around the uncreated energies in the Syriac tradition, that is, between those who believe in the possibility of “seeing God spiritually”, and those who deny the possibility of seeing God; the relation between the vision of God and worship in the holy of Holies, the heart as the link between the center of the body and the center of the spirit, the Spirit as our inner being, the power of surpassing and the movement in which we submit ourselves unto God, the austere spirit of Syrian Monasticism and its forms, and its missionary activities. Students are encouraged to participate in class by means of questions and comments. Coursework will consist of 1 Project, approved by the professor – 25%; and 1 Final Examination (2 hours, written or 1 hour, oral) – 65%; 10% of the overall grade will be based on effort, and will take into account the student’s overall disposition and attendance.

PAT (THE & HIS) 899.
The Ascetic Ethos of the Fathers: Seminars in Patristic Literature,
Professor Christopher Veniamin
(May, 3 Credits).
The aim of this course is to investigate the ethos of the Orthodox Patristic tradition. This course will consist of an in-depth study of The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus (representative of early Patristic literature), and of Saint Silouan the Athonite (representative of the Patristic literature of our own day). Offered in seminar format, a wide range of themes will be covered, including the Passions and Virtues, the nature of Orthodox Obedience, Repentance and Humility, Married Life and Monasticism, the Different Forms of Prayer, the Development of Intrusive Thoughts (logismoi), the Nature and Function of the Human nous, the Rôle of the Imagination in the Ascetic Struggle, the Spiritual Father and Child Relationship, Theosis or Glorification as the goal of the Christian life, Personal or Hypostatic and Liturgical Prayer for the World as the expression of the Life of the Church. Students are encouraged to participate in class by means of questions and comments. Coursework will consist of 1 Project, approved by the professor – 25%; and 1 Final Examination (2 hours, written or 1 hour, oral) – 65%; 10% of the overall grade will be based on effort, and will take into account the student’s overall disposition and attendance.

YEAR THREE — DOCTORAL RESEARCH

The third year of the TAOI Ph.D. Program in Orthodox Studies consists exclusively of supervised research at the doctoral level. A proposed topic having been approved by the Faculty as worthy of original research, the Ph.D. Candidate will spend the third year of the Ph.D. Program solely on researching and writing, and as such requires frequent personal contact with one’s supervisor. The supervisor will ensure that the work undertaken is of the highest academic quality, based on a thorough investigation of sources in the relevant original ancient tongue(s), and in consultation with the most important secondary sources available in their respective languages. In order to qualify for the final examination (see Ph.D. Examination below), the student must submit his or her completed doctoral dissertation in not more than seven academic years from the date of matriculation.

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