South Canaan, Pennsylvania- After a successful search process, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Demetrios Harper, Ph.D. as its new Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology. The appointment was made by the Seminary’s Board of Trustees during a special December 2021 meeting. Fr. Demetrios will take up his position on 1 July 2022.
“We are delighted that Fr. Demetrios has accepted a position on our Faculty here at St. Tikhon’s”, said Father John Parker, Dean of the Seminary. “We are adding to our community a world-class scholar in his field, a seasoned pastor, and an engaging teacher, who has proven himself in various positions and appointments. With Fr. Demetrios joining our faculty, we at St Tikhon’s, seek to continue our mission to provide the very best pastoral formation to our students for generations to come.”
Fr. Demetrios Harper (born Reuben L. Harper) was raised and completed his primary education in Southwestern Virginia. In 1998, at the age of 20, he was received into the Holy Orthodox Church. After his marriage to his wife, Marina, in 2002, he would go on to complete a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy at East Tennessee State University, graduating magna cum laude and having completed the requirements of the Honors College for honors-in-discipline. In 2004, he and his wife relocated to Thessaloniki, Greece, where he spent the next several years studying the Greek language, theology, and theologically-related disciplines, both on a graduate and undergraduate level, at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy in Pylaia. His studies in Thessaloniki culminated in the successful completion of an M.A. from Aristotle University in Systematic Theology and Dogmatics. In early 2011, he was inducted into a doctoral program at the University of Winchester, U.K. After the successful defense of his doctoral thesis, Fr. Demetrios was awarded a Ph.D. in May of 2015. Prior to his coming to St. Tikhon’s, Fr. Demetrios served as an Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Winchester; a Post-doctoral Fellow in Byzantine Studies at the Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame; and finally, as Associate Professor of Church History and Moral Theology at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY. In addition to holding several faculty positions, since 2020 Father has served as the Director of Holy Trinity Seminary’s Master of Divinity Program.
In the realm of scholarship, academic works of Fr. Demetrios are substantial, including:
· “Self-determination and the Question of Subjectivity: Moral Selfhood in Maximus the Confessor.” Studia Patristica, 2021.
· “Autonomy and Heteronomy in Eastern Christian Thought and Post-enlightenment Ethical Paradigms.” In the T&T Clark Companion to Christian Ethics, edited by Tobias Winright. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021.
· “Understanding Self-determination and Moral Selfhood in the Sources of Late-antique and Byzantine Christian Thought.” In The Reception of Greek Ethics in Late Antiquity and Byzantium, edited by Sophia Xenophontos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
· The Analogy of Love: St. Maximus the Confessor and the Foundations of Ethics. Scholarly Monographs Series 3. Yonkers, NY: SVS Press, 2019.
· “The Kantian ‘Two Images Problem’, its Lesson for Eschatology, and the Path of Maximian Analogy.” In On Being and Time: At the Intersection of Ontology and History, edited by Andrew Kaethler. Lanham: Lexington/Fortress, 2019.
· Christos Yannaras: Philosophy, Theology, and Culture. Andreopoulos, Andreas and Demetrios Harper, eds. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018.
Looking towards the future, Fr. Demetrios is currently working on a project researching the Byzantine Christian understanding of self-determination (autexousion) and moral selfhood, which will culminate in a work of monograph length.
In broader service to the academic profession, Fr. Demetrios is co-founder of Analogia: The Pemptousia Journal for Theological Studies, having served as its Assistant Editor from 2015–2018.
Fr. Demetrios was ordained to the priesthood in 2008 at the hand of Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), at the Convent of Novo-Diveevo. In addition to his academic activities, from 2010-2018 Fr. Demetrios served as a priest under the omophorion of Metropolitan Ioel of Edessa, Greece, and is presently a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Fr. Demetrios also serves as a Chaplain in the United States Navy Reserves.
In addition to Fr. Demetrios, our community is glad to welcome Father’s wife, Marina, along with their daughter, Emilia. May God bless them and grant them many blessed years.