Student Papers Showcased in ‘Arena of Ideas’

14 September 2020  Yonkers, NY

There was a robust exchange of ideas between seminarians and professors when the best student papers of the 2020 spring semester were showcased Friday at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary’s (SVOTS) second biannual Academic Symposium.

Seminary faculty nominated five papers to be featured during the Symposium, some of which will be selected for publication the St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly (SVTQ).

“The Symposium was a marketplace of ideas,” said second-year Master of Arts student Deacon Basil Paul who presented a paper entitled, “Refugee Crisis and Pastoral Care: Towards a Eucharistic Missiological Paradigm.” “Critical reflections and questions which emerged in and through the Symposium will considerably aid the process of my spiritual growth,” he continued.

Presenters during the Academic Symposium included Alumnus Dn. Timothy Aznavourian (top left), Seminarian Sbdn. Basil Paul (top right), and Romanian scholar Dr. Mihail Mitrea.Presenters during the Academic Symposium included Alumnus Dn. Timothy Aznavourian (top left), Seminarian Sbdn. Basil Paul (top right), and Romanian scholar Dr. Mihail Mitrea.

Romanian academic Dr. Mihail Mitrea presented the keynote address, “Saintly Models of Hesychasm: Hesychast Elements in Philotheos Kokkinos’ Lives of Contemporaneous Saints.”

“It was a special opportunity and privilege to be part of the Symposium,” said second-year Master of Divinity student Subdeacon Daniel Hanna, who presented the paper, “The Concession in 1 Corinthians 7:6.” “The most helpful aspect was the Q&A after the presentation,” he continued. “This gave me an opportunity to understand the strengths and weaknesses of my paper and to view it from an angle otherwise unknown to me.”

“The goal of the Symposium is to foster intellectual exchange and academic excellence among students by providing a platform at the beginning of every semester to present and discuss the best academic work done by students in the previous semester,” said SVOTS Academic Dean Dr. Ionuţ-Alexandru Tudorie. 

“I hope you never lose your voice,” said SVOTS President Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield in his opening remarks at the Symposium. “I hope you keep on producing this kind of work and I hope that you will never hesitate to put your voice into the arena,” he continued.  

SVOTS plans to host the Academic Symposium twice every academic year. Although the Symposium is currently an intramural event, the Seminary plans to invite other Orthodox seminaries to participate in the future.