Dr. Stamenka Antonova was elected as a Senior Fellow at the Sophia Institute in 2009. She has completed her PhD in Early Christianity at the Religion Department at Columbia University in 2005. Dr. Antonova teaches currently at Columbia University, and she has also offered courses at New York University, Union Theological Seminary and Seton Hall University.  She is in the process of completing her book manuscript entitled Barbarian or Greek?: The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics.  She is the author of a number of published articles on the history of early Christianity, including “Council of Chalcedon” in The Blackwell-Wiley Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Ed. J. A. McGuckin (2011); “Bulgarian Orthodox Church” in The Blackwell-Wiley Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Ed. J. A. McGuckin (2011); “Barbarians and the Empire-wide Spread of Christianity” in The Spread of Christianity in the First Four Centuries. Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition. Ed. W. V. Harris (2005); “The Many Faces of Truth: Origenian Platonism or Platonic Origenism?” in Origeniana Octava. Ed. L. Perrone (2004), and others.  She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, as well as at the annual Sophia Institute conferences.  Dr. Antonova has made several paper contributions to the publications of the Sophia Institute conference proceedings, such as “Christ-Jesus as the Terminal Paradox in the Poetry of Romanos the Melodist” in Beauty in Patristic and Byzantine Theology, ed. J. McGuckin (2012) and “Literacry, Orality, and Brokerage of Power and Authority in the Egyptian Desert Tradition” in Power and Authority in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, Eds. J.A. McGuckin and F. Soumakis (2011).  Dr. Antonova is the editor of a new volume entitled Women in the Eastern Christian Tradition (forthcoming, 2013), which contains papers that have been presented at the inaugural conference on women at the Sophia Institute in 2008.

EIRINI&amp_#32_ARTEMIDr. Eirini Artemi was elected as a Senior Fellow at the Sophia Institute in 2013. She is from Greece. She studied Theology at the University of Athens (1992-1996) and Classical Philology of ancient Greek and Latin at the same university (2001-2005). She has master of the theology from the university of Athens on patristic theology, patrology and history of dogma, (1997-2000). Her doctorate (2012) was on patristic theology, patrology and history of dogma from the University of Athens. Her thesis was title “Isidore’s of Pelusium the teaching for the Triune God and its relation to the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria”. She worked as a teacher of theology and philology in a high school for 9 years. She was assistant of the Professor of Patristic Theology Elias Moutsoulas in the university of Athens, theology department for three years and for one year she cooperated with professor of philology Katerina Korre in the university of Athens, department of Philology. She taught the patristic language in the Pastoral Institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens from 2010-2013. Now, she works for the Ministry of Education, especially for the Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens. Also she works as teacher in E Teacher Group (Courses Accredited by the Hebrew University), Biblical Studies, Part-time teacher of biblical koine Greek language in English. She was honored with many national and international scholarships, such as the National Greek Foundation for Scholarships the International Association of Patristic Studies (She is member in it), the Japanese Foundation Styff (Sasakawa), etc. She has presented papers at conferences in Greece, in Italy, in England, in America etc. She is the National Correspondent for Greece in the Association International of Patristic Studies since 2011. Many of her articles are published in theological journals in Greek, English, Russian etc. 

VassiliosVassilios Bebis is a Greek Orthodox priest serving at St. Nectarios Church in Boston, MA. His educational background includes a Ph.D. in Church and dogma history from Noordwes-Universiteit. He is a columnist at the web site of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia.

Link: www.omhksea.org



ChaudhariPia Chaudhari commenced her doctoral work in the fall of 2010 at Union Theological Seminary in the department of Psychiatry & Religion, where she also received her M.A. the previous spring. A recent convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, her work is motivated by the experience that the space between psychoanalytic theory and theology, where the spiritual and psychological are both honored, is a beautiful, powerful, and life-giving space.  It is a space where the tools for discernment of that which is life-giving are rich and varied, as are the tools for speaking liberating truth to bondage in its myriad forms as well. Her earlier work focused on the Christus Victor model of atonement, and its potential existential ramifications with regard to the healing of both individual and societal complexes. This led to an exploration of theologies of transformation; most specifically that of the patristic concept of theosis. Her Master’s thesis was an initial exploration of the relationship between theosis and Carl Jung’s theory of individuation. Currently, she is interested in how theology and psychoanalytic theory can help promote healing and human flourishing in both ecclesial and clinical settings.  Her research interests are theological anthropology, personhood, processes of transformation, theological aesthetics, and creativity. She engages with theology as gesturing towards that which has an ontic reality, and psychoanalytic work, ideally, as a way of working with this ontic reality in a way that brings healing. Her recent publications includes“Beauty and Becoming: Theological Aesthetics and Depth Psychology” in N. Ermolaeva (ed), Beauty and the Beautiful in Modern Orthodox Culture (Sophia Studies in Orthodox Theology vol 4). Theotokos Press. New York. Dec. 2012 and “Freedom for Relationship: An Initial Exploration of the Theology of Zizioulas and the Psychoanalytic Insights of Winnicott in Dialogue”, Pastoral Psychology, Springer 2012.


 Pr. Theodor Damian (Ph.D) serves as professor of philosophy, ethics and sociology in both the undergraduate and graduate programs levels at Metropolitan College of New York. In addition to teaching at   MCNY since 1992, Dr. Damian has taught courses at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary and the College of New Rochelle. He has served as a priest in Romania, as Dean of Dorohoi District and as a magazine editor. He has also been the recipient of prestigious awards for his work in academics, poetry and theology. Dr. Damian has published several books, as well as hundreds of articles and poems in both Romanian and English, in the United States and Europe. His most recent books are The Isar Sign(poetry, Publish America Press, Baltimore, MD: 2010), Introduction to Christianity: The First Millenium ( Romania of Tomorrow Press, Bucharest: 2008), and Philosophy and Literature: A Hermeneutic of the Metaphysical Challenge (Romania of Tomorrow Press, Bucharest: 2008).

Carrie Frederick Frost Carrie Frederick Frost is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where she studies Orthodox theology with a focus on family. Her dissertation will begin to remedy the lack of theological reflection on motherhood in Christian thought by offering a theological consideration of motherhood, especially in—but not limited to—Orthodox Christianity, using theology, doctrine, homilies, liturgy, iconography, and other sources. She works on a library acquisition project, “Paradosis,” at the University of Virginia, the aim of which is to improve the university’s holdings of Orthodox theological texts. She has contributed two articles to the Sophia Conference proceedings: “Searching for Mothers in the Fathers” (2009) and “The Time Has Come: The Why and the How of Bringing Change to the Postpartum Rites of the Orthodox Church” (2013, forthcoming), and has published articles on theology and motherhood elsewhere, including First Things and Commonweal. She also serves on the board of Mountaintop Montessori chairs the board of Walnut Grove Cemetery in West Virginia. She lives with her husband Matthew and their five children in Charlottesville, Virginia

Links: Purify Her Uncleanness  &  Under Her Heart: Motherhood in Kristin Lavransdatter

MeceraAnnMarie Gidus-Mecera is owner of A.Mecera Communications, founded in 1985. Her shop develops marketing solutions for for-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations, then implements those marketing strategies, using a team of creative professionals. AnnMarie served as Public Relations Consultant for Project Mexico, Home Building and Boys’ Orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico from 2003-2006. She is the author of children’s books for the Orthodox Christian Faith; developing and writing A Way of Life—recently called ‘by far the best resource for introducing pre-schoolers and younger children to the faith’. AnnMarie has also written other books for children including I Go to Church, The Storm and the Sea (on the life of St. Nicholas), and Journey Across North America (on the lives of three American saints).

“Women as Lay Ministers in the Orthodox Church”, is a paper AnnMarie first delivered at the University of Leeds, Leeds, England, 1998 at a conference titled “Evolving Conceptions of a Role for Lay Believers in the Christian East and West”. She also presented the paper in condensed form at the first annual Sophia Institute Academic Conference in 2008. AnnMarie served as Lay Vice Chair for her parish St. Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church, Columbus, Ohio from 1988 to 1995 and 2000 to 2012. She had a significant role in growing this outreach-focused parish that Orthodox Christian parishes across the nation seek to emulate; and helping to develop it from a mission-status parish to one that offers more than 20 ministries and programs. She is a member of the Diocesan Council, Midwest Diocese, Orthodox Church in America (OCA); Pension Board of the OCA; and Communications Chair for Women in Philanthropy, Ohio University, her alma mater.


Pascal Hämmerli is a Swiss Orthodox theologian who is concluding his PhD thesis on “The Freedom to Exclude. A theological Perspective on the Concept of Non-Discrimination” at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. His main research interests are theology, law, and political sciences, articulated around issues concerning the display of religious symbols in the public sphere, but he is equally interested in topics such as secularization, ethnicity and nationalism.


Holodny photoAndrei Holodny, MD is a Senior Fellow of the Sophia Institute. He is the Chief of the Neuroradiology Section and Head of the Functional MRI Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Radiology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Holodny served as the Founding President of the American Society of Functional Neuroradiology as well as President of the Eastern Neuroradiological Society. He holds an Honorary Doctorate (honoris causa) from the Russian Academy of Medical Science and is an Honorary Member (honoris causa) of the Minsk Theological Academy and Fellow of the John Jay Society of Columbia University. Dr. Holodny has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in the academic literature and two books. He has been an invited speaker on over 120 occasions.

KireopoulosDr. Antonios Kireopoulos is Associate General Secretary for Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations at the National Council of Churches USA, where he is responsible for theological dialogue among both ecumenical and interfaith partners.  An Orthodox Christian theologian, he previously directed the Council’s work in international affairs.  Formerly, Dr. Kireopoulos was the Executive Director of Religions for Peace – USA, where he promoted interfaith collaboration to address common domestic social concerns.  Before that he was Special Assistant to the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in the area of external affairs, and Assistant to the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, in communications. 

 Among his affiliations, Dr. Kireopoulos is the immediate past chair of United to End Genocide, a leading human rights advocacy organization, which was formed during his tenure through the merger of the Save Darfur Coalition and the Genocide Intervention Network.   He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and its Religious Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Orthodox Theological Society in America.  He formerly served as a member of the US State Department’s Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, and as president of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Dr. Kireopoulos holds degrees from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Thunderbird School of Global Management, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and Fordham University.  He is a published author, guest lecturer, and media spokesperson on issues in theology, social justice, and religion and the public square. Dr. Kireopoulos lives in the New York metropolitan area.  He is married with two children.

kostashBorn and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Myrna Kostash (M.A. Russian Language & Literature, University of Toronto, 1969) is a fulltime writer, author of, among other books,  the classic All of Baba’s Children (1978), the award-winning No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls (1986) and Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe (1993). In 1998 she published a memoir, The Doomed Bridegroom, which was translated into Serbian and published in Niš, Serbia, as Ukleti Mladozenja in 2004.  Her most recent books are Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan River (2008),The Frog Lake Reader (2009) and Prodigal Daughter: A Journey toByzantium (2010), which won the 2010 City of Edmonton Book Prize and the Writers Guild  of Alberta Wilfred Eggleston Award for Best Nonfiction, and was short-listed for the 2011 Runcimann Award.

 Besides writing for diverse magazines and literary journals, Kostash has written radio drama and documentary, television documentary, and theatre cabaret. Her essays, articles, and creative nonfiction have been widely anthologized, most recently in Locating the Past/Discovering the Present: Perspectives on Religion, Culture and Marginality, eds. David Gay & Stephen R. Reimer, University of Alberta Press, 2010, and Slice Me Some Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Creative Nonfiction, eds. Luanne Armstrong & Zoe Landale, Wolsack and Wynn, 2011. A stage play, The Gallows Is Also a Tree, was given a staged reading at Edmonton’s Festival of Ideas, Fall 2010. She has been a frequent lecturer and instructor of creative writing as well as writer-in-residence in Canada and the US. A persistent traveller, Kostash has lectured across Canada, and abroad in Kyiv, Warsaw, Cracow, Szeged, Baia Mare, Belgrade, Niš, Skopje, Sofia, Plovdiv, Athens and Istanbul. Kostash has served as Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the Board of the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta. She is a Board member of St Elia Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Edmonton and a volunteer at a community arts cafe. Website: www.myrnakostash.com

MorelliArchpriest George Morelli PhD
was elected a Senior Fellow of the Sophia Institute. He serves as Chairman of the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Chaplain and Pastoral Counseling (http://www.antiochian.org/counseling-ministries). He holds the Ph.D. degree in personality-clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York City.  Fr. George is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist, Diplomate in Professional Neuropsychology and is an Associate Fellow and Clinical Supervisor of the Institute of Rational-Emotive Therapy. The ethos of his pastoral-clinical diaconia is the synergia of scientifically (evidence) based clinical interventions with Orthodox spirituality, this is in emulation of the healing tradition of the Church and monastery hospitals of the 3rd and 4th Centuries.(e.g., http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/OT/view/morelli-the-ethos-of-orthodox-christian-healing

He taught undergraduate and graduate psychology courses, thesis supervision for over thirty years and clinical supervisor of doctoral students in the Psychology Clinic of Rutgers University for ten years, as well as teaching seminary pastoral theology courses at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. He serves as Director of Holy Cross Center for Cognitive Therapy, located in New Jersey until 2000, currently in San Diego, CA. He served as CAP-USAF Squadron, Group then Wing Chaplain (McGuire AFB, NJ) until 2000, presently serves as  On-Call Orthodox Chaplain at the Veterans Medical Center, San Diego. He has given retreats and workshops, authored numerous scientific and clinical articles on pastoral and psychological topics in journals magazines and books. His latest major publication is the chapter ‘Psychotherapy with Members of Eastern Orthodox Churches’ in the book Handbook of Psychotherapy and Religious Diversity published (2014) by the American Psychological Association.  Many of his articles are on the website of the Antiochian Christian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America: http://www.antiochian.org/counseling-ministrieshttp://www.antiochian.org/author/morelli; as well as that of Orthodoxy Today :  http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/archive/morelli; and Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1127946009.  He broadcasts weekly on Ancient Faith Radio on Healing: Orthodox Spirituality and Psychology. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the National Academy of Neuropsychology, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and has served as Psychology Coordinator, and is currently Religion Coordinator of the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion (OCAMPR).

Fr. George’s first pastoral assignment (1973) was as Assistant Pastor, then Associate Pastor of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church Brooklyn, NY, until 2000 when he was assigned as Assistant Pastor of St. George’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, San Diego, CA.

Fr Theo at VardziaHierodeacon Theodore Niklasson was elected as Senior Fellow to the Sophia Institute in 2010. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Organizational Communication from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri and a graduate certificate from the International Center for Georgian Language in Tbilisi.During six years of service in the Caucasus Mountains with the Department of Missions and Evangelization of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, he was tonsured to the Small Schema in Bethany Monastery in 2004 and ordained to the deaconate by His Holiness Patriarch Ilia II on the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt in 2007. Fr. Theodore holds dual-citizenship between the United States of America and Caucasus Georgia and has facilitated dialogue and interaction between the Georgian Orthodox Church and numerous Western organizations, including the US Embassy, USAID, the US Peace Corps, WorldVision International, Care for the Children and chapters of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship.Following more than a decade of international research and development, Fr. Theodore founded the Holy Archangels Orthodox Christian Retreat Center in the Missouri Ozarks in 2010. The proposed purposes of the retreat center include individual and parish retreats nurturing spiritual growth, independent research and study, youth leadership training and summer camp events, volunteer community service through the American Red Cross and the Missouri National Guard, and academic conferences focused upon interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange.

Fr. Theodore has developed presentations and articles including Conversions to Orthodox Christianity in Contemporary America: Why the Attraction?; Orthodox Alaska: Faithful Transmission of Evangelical Traditions of the Christian East; Orthodox Christian Mission: Considerations for the 21st Century; Julian the Apostate: An Individual from Antiquity; Council of Chalcedon; Baptism by Fire: Uncertainty Management Among Graduate Students of Social Work; Monologue Narrative Ethic in Sovereign Democracy; and the forthcoming co-authored Intermediate Georgian Grammar: Complex Intricacies of the Georgian Verb.


Dylan Pahman is assistant editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality, a research associate at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, a contributing editor at Ethika Politika, and a fellow of the Sophia Institute: International Center for Orthodox Thought & Culture. Dylan earned his MTS from Calvin Theological Seminary in Historical Theology with a concentration on the early Church. His research tends to focus on Orthodox Christian social thought, specifically the role of asceticism in society and the use of natural law in the Orthodox tradition. As an editor, in addition to the Journal of Markets & Morality, he edits works for Christian’s Library Press, an imprint of the Acton Institute, and notably is one of the editors of their forthcoming English translation of Dutch theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper’s three-volume work of social theology Common Grace. His writing has been published in various academic, semi-scholarly, and popular publications, including The Calvin Theological Journal, Touchstone Magazine, and Theosis: Spiritual Reflections from the Christian East.

Links to Select Works: Ethika Politika, Acton Institute, Acton PowerBlog, Everyday Asceticism

Aristotle PapanikolaouAristotle Papanikolaou, Professor of Theology and Co-Founding Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, is the author of Being with God:  Trinity, Apophaticism and Divine-Human Communionand The Mystical as Political:  Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy.  He is also co-editor of Orthodox Constructions of the West, published with Fordham University Press in the Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought series.


Matthew J. Pereira is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is also a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. He serves as the Secretary and an Ecumenical Fellow for the Sophia Institute. One recent and another forthcoming essay address issues directly related to his dissertation: “From Augustine to the Scythian Monks: Social Memory and the Doctrine of Predestination”, Studia Patristica LXX (Peeters, 2013), 671-84 and “Faustus of Riez’s De gratia Dei”, in After Augustine and Pelagius: An Early Medieval Debate On Grace (CUA Press, 2014). He edited Philanthropy and Social Compassion in Eastern Orthodox Tradition, vol. 2 in the Sophia Studies in Orthodox Theology (2010).

PetrakisVicki Petrakis is a doctoral candidate at the department of Ancient History at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Her thesis is titled ‘Gregory Nazianzus’ Doctrine of the Logos and its Antecedents’. She holds degrees in Law, Political Science, Philosophy and Theology. Vicki has published two essays with the Sophia Institute entitled, ‘Philanthropia as a Social Reality of Askesis and Theosis in Gregory the Theologian’s Oration, On the Love of the Poor’ (Vol. 2) and more recently ‘The Beginning of Wisdom is to fear the Lord, And she was joined with the faithful in the womb.’ WSir 1:12 – The Theology of Children, An Insight from the Old and the New Testaments’ (publication pending – 2013). Other publications include ‘St Gregory the Theologian on Deification’ in e-Oikonomia (The Sydney College of Divinity e-journal of Theology), 2008.2 and a book review in Phronema (Vol 26, No. 1, 2011) on John Chryssavgis’ In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom Inc., 2008. 


photoV. Rev. Fr. Peter-Michael Preble is an Orthodox Priest in the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas.  He is the pastor of St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Additionally, he is a Stavrofor Monk and Protosingelos of the St. Columba of Iona Orthodox Monastery. He host of the Podcast Shepherd of Souls, and contributes to the Archdiocese Magazine Credinta on the topics of American Orthodox Church History and North American Saints. He is a contributor to the American Orthodox Institute Blog and Orthodoxy Today. A pioneer in the use of the new media in his pastoral ministry, Fr. Peter bridges the gap between the ancient orthodox faith and the wired generation by use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites as well as live streaming of the Divine Liturgy and Podcasts in his day to day pastoral ministry.In addition to pastoral responsibilities at church, Fr. Peter is also the Chaplain for the Dudley Fire Department and Deputy Chief Chaplain of the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains.  Fr. Peter also serves as the Orthodox Chaplain at Harvard University and serves on the Board of Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He is also Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Fr. Peter was dispatched along with other clergy and laity to the area as part of the Emergency Response Team of the International Orthodox Christian Charities. He was also part of the Critical Stress Incident team deployed to Virginia Tech after the campus shootings. Fr. Peter has been performing research on the Theology of Crisis and Suffering. On account of his service during Hurricane Katrina and the Virginia Tech shooting, Fr. Peter was awarded an honorary PhD in Pastoral Psychology from American International University.

On account of his service during Hurricane Katrina and the Virginia Tech shooting, Fr. Peter was awarded an honorary PhD in Pastoral Psychology from American International University. Fr. Peter earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Nazarene Colleg  and a Master’s of Theological Studies from the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline. He is a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains, the American Academy of Religion and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

PsarevDeacon Andrei Psarev was born in Moscow and studied at Holy Trinity Seminary (Jordanville NY),   St. Vladimir’s Seminary (Crestwood NY), and Queen’s University (Belfast, Northern Ireland). He teaches Russian Church History  and Canon Law at Holy Trinity Seminary and History and Principles of the Orthodox Church at the Pastoral School of the Chicago Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad. He pursues research on Russian and Byzantine ecclesiastical history and canon law in order to shed light on sacramental oikonomia and other issues relevant to contemporary Orthodox Christians. He is the editor of the Web site Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad (www.rocorstudies.org), which is dedicated to the dialogue between past and present Church voices.

Rommen.Edward055704011Fr. Edward Rommen is an Orthodox priest and pastor of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church (OCA) in Raleigh, NC. His education and professional experience include a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology (Nyack College), an M.Div. with an emphasis in mission and a Doctorate in Missiology (D. Miss.) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, as well as a Doctorate in Theology (Ph.D.) from the Lutheran Faculty of the University of Munich, Germany.He served as missionary (15 years in Germany) and as a professor of theology and cross-cultural studies (at the Theological Seminary in Ewersbach, Germany, at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and at Columbia Biblical Seminary). He is currently an adjunct professor at the Divinity School of Duke University. He has recently published Get Real. On Evangelism in the Late Modern World (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2010). He has two forthcoming books titled Come and See. An Eastern Orthodox Perspective on Contextualization (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2013) and Being the Church: On Its Oneness, Goodness, Beauty, and Integrity (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2015). The latter books is an attempt to provide an Orthodox perspective on the Church Growth Movement.

Dr. A. Edward Siecienski graduated from Georgetown University with a double degree in International Relations and Theology.  After earning his M.Div and STB at St. Mary’s Seminary he spent several years teaching before obtaining his PhD in historical theology from Fordham University.  After a year as a post-doctoral teaching fellow at Fordham he spent two years at Misericordia University in Dallas, PA before moving to his present post as Associate Professor at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where he is Pappas Professor of Byzantine Culture and Religion.  Specializing in patristic and Byzantine theology, and with a keen interest in ecumenical relations between East and West, in 2010 he wrote The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy, which was published by Oxford University Press.  Dr. Siecienski has published articles in Vigiliae ChristianaeSt. Vladimir’s Theological QuarterlyThe Enclyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox ChristianityThe Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, andThe Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception.  He has also written chapters for Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society, The Rule of Faith: A Festschrift for Joseph Lienhard, SJ, The Oxford Handbook on Maximus the Confessor, The Filioque in Modern Ecumenical Dialogue, and Maximus the Confessor: Saint Between East and West. In 2010 Dr. Siecienski was one of the featured speakers at the Sophia Institute Conference on  Power and Authority, with his paper appearing in the proceedings of the conference.

SiewersAlfred Kentigern Siewers (Ph.D) is associate professor of English and affiliate faculty member of Environmental Studies at Bucknell University, where he teaches courses on medieval and environmental studies. His work focuses on early Christian literatures of the West, early medieval views of nature and their reflection in modern literature and philosophy, environmental semiotics, and the philosophy of John Scottus Eriugena. He is author of Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape (2009) and co-editor with Jane Chance of Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages (2005), both in Palgrave Macmillan’s New Middle Ages series. His other publications include “Orthodoxy and Ecopoetics” in the forthcoming collection Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation, ed. John Chryssavgis and Bruce Foltz (Fordham 2013), “”Desert Islands: Europe’s Atlantic Archipelago as Ascetic Landscape” in Studies in the Medieval Atlantic, ed. Benjamin Hudson (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), Ecopoetics and the Origins of English Literature” in Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, ed. Ken Hiltner and Stephanie LeMenager (Routledge 2011), and “Landscapes of Conversion: Guthlac’s Mound and Grendel’s Mere as Expressions of Anglo-Saxon Nation-Building” in The Postmodern Beowulf (West Virginia, 2007). He is a former staff writer for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Christian Science Monitor. His current projects include work on Eriugena, ecosemiotics, and the relation between early Christian views of nature and nineteenth-century Anglo-American Romanticism. 

SilouanHieromonk Silouan was elected Senior Fellow in 2011.  He published ‘Wisdom Songs,’ a book of Wisdom Chapters in five Centuries, and ‘Wisdom and Wonder,’ a book of Wisdom Chapters in two Centuries, with the Sophia Institute, Theotokos Press, in 2011.  He has been an Orthodox Christian hermit monk at the Monastery of Saint Antony and Saint Cuthbert, Gatten,Pontesbury, Shropshire, England, since January 2001, and was a monk at the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist at Tolleshunt Knights, founded by Archimandrite Sophrony, from 1990.  He graduated in Theology at the University of Nottingham in 1966, Master of Theology at the University of Glasgow in 1967, and Doctor of Philosophy at Glasgow, studying with Professor Ronald Gregor Smith, in 1970.  He taught at Lincoln Theological College and was Research Co-Ordinator of a Research Centre in London for ten years. He first met Archimandrite Sophrony in 1965, and was deeply inspired by his writings and teaching on the Holy Name, ‘I AM.’  He met Professor John McGuckin in 1988, since then  his life and study have been centred on the Hesychast Wisdom of the Holy Name.  He is about to publish a third book of Wisdom Chapters, entitled ‘Wisdom, Prophecy and Prayer,’ in Three Centuries,  with the Sophia Institute Theotokos Press, in 2013.


Fr. Lev Smith was elected as a Senior Fellow of the Institute in 2013. He is an Orthodox priest and rector of St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in Des Moines, IA. He holds the B.A. in Political Science (University of Southern Mississippi), the M.Div. (Nashotah House), the M.A. in Philosophy (University of Notre Dame), and the Doctorate in Liturgical Theology (Ph.D.) from the Institut Saint-Denys in Paris. He has taught courses in philosophy and theology at numerous college and universities, and currently serves on the faculty of Euclid University. He has lectured nationally and intenationally on bioethics and issues of war and peace. His current research interests include liturgical renewal, Continental philosophy of religion, Temple theology, and psychoanalytic theory. He is the author of Philokalia: The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts, as well as numerous articles and reviews.



Dr. Fevronia K. Soumakis teaches in the History and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include the intersection between religion, immigration, and education. She is currently working on a book length manuscript exploring the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in shaping parochial school education in New York City during 1959-1979. She has published and presented widely on issues related to religion and education and is a Senior Fellow of the Sophia Institute International Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture, and has served as Executive Board Treasurer for several years. She is currently an active member of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Brooklyn, NY as an educator and volunteer.