THE SAINT BENEDICT APPEAL: FR. CYRIL
Update: Fr. Cyril passed away on 15 May 2012. More details can be found here
For the past three years, I've been studying philosophy in the Institute of Philosophy of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium.
The KU Leuven dates from the 15th century and has well-known and respected faculties in philosophy and theology, as well as medical science and law programs. During these three years, I've been residing at the American College of Louvain, a seminary run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to which our community has many connections - Abbot Justin is an alumnus. At the end of the academic year 2010-11, the USCCB has decided to close the seminary; so it seems I'll be moving in with a small community at the Chinese College, which is two doors down from the university.
During 2008-09, I completed an initial one-year Masters in Philosophy, for which I wrote a thesis titled, "Epitedeiotes in Saint Maximus the Confessor: A Study in Perichoresis." Since the Institute of Philosophy accepted my proposal into their doctoral program, I have audited the occasional seminar. However, most of my time has been spent researching my dissertation, in which I continue my study of metaphysical concepts in Saint Maximus the Confessor.
Saint Maximus is a Greek Church Father who occupies a foundational position in the Byzantine Churches similar to Saint Augustine's in the West, and this in both spiritual and philosophical matters. My particular focus is on the concept dynamis, a very common and important Greek term meaning 'power, potency, capacity' or 'faculty.' My work looks at the important role it plays in Maximus, and at how his use draws on the full range of sources of his thought - Biblical, Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic and Patristic.
This August I'll be attending the XVI Conference on Patristic Studies at Oxford University, where I'll be giving a short paper. As part of this same conference, I'll be participating in a seminar titled, "A Saint for East and West: The Thought of Maximus Confessor in Eastern and Western Christian Theology," sponsored by the Centre of Theology and Philosophy. Here I'll be chair of the session on 'Philosophy and Metaphysics' and participate in a panel discussion after the papers are presented. It all promises to be a highight of my studies of Maximus and a chance to meet the worldwide English language scholarship in the field.
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