Dimitrios Nikiforos

My degree program: M.A.

 

My home: Greece

 

My home parish: Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY

 

My background:

Attorney at Law; Research Assistant to Prof Gráinne de Búrca (NYU School of Law); Research Fellow at the Jean Monnet Chair for European Constitutional Law & Culture (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Law); PhD candidate in Constitutional History (University of Athens School of Law) 

What brought me to seminary: 

Toward the end of my undergraduate studies in law I realized that law and theology share the same core purpose: man’s justification via the revelation of truth. Unfortunately, to a certain extent the modern legal science has been alienated from its core purpose by endorsing the utilitarian intent of regulating individualistic aspects of life. Despite the considerable progress of the last two centuries in the area of human rights law, it seems that the perception of individual rights as claims of the person to fulfill concrete private or public interests, bears responsibility for the deficit of the juridical orderliness. The latter imperatively poses the issue of the reinstatement of the Orthodox Christian perception of law, as the real measure for our biotic redetermination.

An excellent example of the Orthodox Christian perception of law can be found in St. Paul’s epistles. I believe that such a perception reinstates law to its archetypal redeeming mission, since it participates to the higher soteriological basis of man’s justification. As a legal scholar, I have the strong desire to offer all my powers to the attainment of this mission, which is also linked to my responsibility as an Orthodox Christian to communicate Orthodox Christianity to the world and to prove the significance and relevance for today’s world of the Gospel’s unchanging message. For this reason, I decided to supplement my legal education with theological studies.

Why I chose St. Vladimir’s: 

Studying theology for me is not only a means towards my academic improvement, but mainly an opportunity for my spiritual awakening. For this reason, I believe that the latter cannot efficiently be achieved in a secular environment, but only through the life of a seminary community, where theological study and work are intrinsically connected with Orthodox Christian worship, prayer, and service. St. Vladimir’s Seminary strongly supports and promotes the above-mentioned values. Furthermore, from an academic point of view, since I am particularly interested in Canon Law, the seminary’s particular strengths in Canon Law and in historical disciplines decisively influenced my decision to apply to the M.A. program of St. Vladimir’s.