Course Memo

This course is designed to introduce students to the major figures and key concepts of Eastern Christian Spirituality, particularly those of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Working almost exclusively with primary sources (in English Translation), the class will track how a variety of Eastern Christians have understood, lived, and taught about the spiritual life from the fourth century to the modern times. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on the authors’ experiences and to discuss how and to what degree they speak to readers today. Students will explore how spiritual experiences and theological insights from places as diverse as Palestine, Africa, Syria, Greece, Russia, and Nazi-occupied France have formed a tradition that speaks to Christians in the 21st Century. The class will meet in-person, utilizing a seminar format. Evaluation will be based on short weekly reflections, classroom participation, one short research paper (5 pages), and a final synthesis essay (10-12 pages). All readings will be available on Moodle. This course has been designed primarily for MA/MTS and MDiv students, and will be helpful for PhD students who are interested in exploring aspects of the Eastern Christian tradition.