Orthodox Christian Student Society

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TT Week 2 – Brandon Gallaher and Patristics


Our big event this week, on Thursday, May 3rd, is a lecture on Orthodox-Catholic Ecumenical Relations in the 20th Century by Dr Brandon Gallaher of Exeter University, a long-time friend of our Society and of the Oxford Orthodox community, to be given to a joint meeting of the Oxford Orthodox Student and Newman Catholic Societies. The event will be taking place in the Catholic Chaplaincy, St Aldate’s, OX1 1RD. (N.B. not our usual venue!) The lecture itself will begin at 8pm but in keeping with the usual structure of the Newman Society’s Thursday evening meetings, it will be preceded by a meal at 7pm. You are warmly invited to attend both.


The second Orthodox Society & Newman Society joint Patristics Reading Group will take place next Saturday, 5 May, and will be held (almost certainly– though N.B.subject to confirmation!) at Saint Theosevia’s House, 2 Canterbury Road, OX2 6LU. Come for 9.30am and the discussion will begin for 10am. Breakfast foods and refreshments will be provided.

This time we will be looking at the way the holy fathers read Scripture, by studying portions of two of the most foundational texts, Origen’s De Principiis (Gk.Peri Archon; ‘On First Principles’), IV.2, and St Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana (‘On Christian Teaching’) II.6.7-10.15 and III.11.17-12.20.

A Google Drive link containing PDFs with modern translations of these is here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IFgbjXNc2lo2agi2CJ-Cy0YUXk6tN-5w, and it contains as well as an excellent introductory article by Fr Brian Daley on Patristic Exegesis, for those interested in delving deeper. A note: the Origen text contains two columns, one from the Latin edition and one from the Greek– I would recommend reading the column from the Latin as it is generally the more complete text, if perhaps slightly less reliable at points.

Let us be moved to study by what St Benedict teaches: ‘What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life? What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?’ (Regula Benedicti 73.4-5)’

We’ll also be aiming to meet on at least one further occasion this term.

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