AFMNuns from All Saints Monastery offer presentation on The Hope Project.

Three presentations delivered at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary’s annual open house—Orthodox Education Day—on Saturday, October 1, 2016 are now available on the web site of Ancient Faith Ministries [AFM].  All presentations, including the Fourth Annual Father John Meyendorff Lecture delivered by Dr. Mary B. Cunningham of the University of Nottingham, were related to the day’s theme, “Celebrating Mary.”

Dr. Cunningham addressed a capacity crowd in the seminary’s Metropolitan Philip Auditorium on “The Mystery of Mary: The Mother of God in Orthodox Christian Tradition.”  She spoke with both scholarly precision and devoted warmth about the person of the Virgin Mary, while endeavoring to reconcile for listeners the narrative and typological strands within Orthodox Christian tradition that create a tension: on the one hand, they describe a humble teenager from Galilee while, on the other hand, they highly elevate a woman to queen-like dignity through magnificent liturgical epitaphs.  She went on to resolve the seeming tension by explaining the Virgin Mother’s place in salvation history, in which her personal story (with noticeable historical “gaps”) is subsumed within Christological events.  Quoting Saint Andrew of Crete’s Homily on the Dormition, she concluded that Mary “is the great world in miniature, the world containing him who brought the world from nothingness into being, that it might be a messenger of his own greatness.”

Dr. Cunningham’s lecture is slated to be released on AFR on October 12.

Already available on AFR is a second Education Day presentation, titled “Imagining the Akathistos Hymn in Late Byzantine Art”, by Nicole Paxton Sullo, Ph.D. Candidate, History of Art Department, Yale University.  A third presentation, “The Hope of the Hopeless: The HOPE Project,” was offered by the Sisters of All Saints Greek Orthodox Monastery, Calverton, NY, who addressed ways to provide resources and healing for victims of human trafficking.  The presentation will be available on AFR on October 19.

Additionally, SVOTS alumna Jenny Haddad Mosher, Ph.D. Candidate, Religion and Education, Union Theological Seminary, presented a lively teen workshop titled “O Champion Leader: The Teenage Girl Who Changed the World.”

“We are especially gratified that our friends and alumni came out to Ed Day this year, not only to hear the excellent talks by our superb speakers, but also to support us during a trying time,” said seminary CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield.  “Because we wanted to recognize and pay due respect to our neighbors during a local tragedy — the line-of-duty death of a brave firefighter — we had decided to completely reorganize our day’s schedule at the last moment, yet our supporters still came out, thus honoring our intent toward our neighbors while making our event truly successful and a wonderful gathering of God’s People.”

Father Chad continued by stating that “we wanted to ‘pay forward’ their kindness, so we decided spontaneously to tithe whatever net profit we receive from this year’s Ed Day to The Hope Project, run by All Saints’ nuns.  Truly, we who gathered on Ed Day felt like one family under the Virgin’s protection.”

A gallery of the day’s services, presentations and festivities is available on the seminary web site.