October Friday Evening:
Vespers at 6 pm
First Session 7 – 8:30 pm
Coffee and Dessert
Title of First Session:
A Feeling for Beauty: The Aesthetic Ground of Orthodox Ethics
Brief Description: The dividing line between Western and Eastern monastic spirituality has been described as the question of whether it is the intellectual or rather the sensual sins that must first be addressed in the spiritual life. Starting from this puzzling diagnosis of the difference between Orthodoxy and Western Christianity, we will unravel how a little-known account of the world’s creation helps us to explain the distinctive flavor of Orthodox Christian spiritual life.
Continental Breakfast at 8:30
Matins at 9
Second Session 10 am – 12 pm (with time for questions)
Title of Session:
Eros, Agape, and the Mystery of the Twofold Anointing
Brief Description: For St. Paul, the first call of the Christian life is to faith, or to a self-renouncing eros for Christ that is at once both chaste and ardent. Because this eros is for the Crucified One, however, it naturally unfolds into the imitation of Christ’s life-giving self-sacrifice for the life of the world. Therefore, the call to faith is also a call to repentance, both because faith involves the conquering of self-love through the activation of a divine eros, and because faith bids us to extend that defeat of self-love into a self-sacrificial agape for our fellow man.
Such divine eros is not merely a human achievement. It is the visitation by the Holy Spirit, who at once makes us kings and sacrificial lambs, victors and victims, in a twofold anointing whose presence we describe as the joyful sorrow, or bright sadness, or the stavroanastasimo ethos of the Orthodox faith.
Lunch from 12 – 1
Third Session 1 pm – 3 pm
Title of Session:
Shame and Sacrifice: The Practical Goals of Orthodox Soul Therapy
Brief Description: The first aim of the Christian spiritual life is not truth, but beauty.