Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

About UsOrthodox Christian Studies Program

History of the Center

Fordham University has had a long and vibrant relationship with Eastern Orthodox Christian Communities. For generations, Orthodox families have chosen Fordham as the school to pursue a rigorous education that respected and encouraged their tradition of faith. To ensure that the Orthodox tradition was represented within the academic community, Fordham included in its faculty the late Rev. Dr. John Meyendorff, renowned as a Byzantine historian and Orthodox theologian. Today, Fordham has the only Department of Theology in the United States with two graduates from an Orthodox seminary on its faculty.  Rev. Dr. John Behr was appointed a distinguished lecturer in the Department of Theology in 2004. Father Behr is the Dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Center Co-Founders

George Demacopoulos, Ph.D.George Demacopoulos (, webpage) is a Professor of Historical Theology, Director and Co-founder of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. Professor Demacopoulos’ research and teaching interests are in the fields of Early Christian and Byzantine Church History. He specializes in the relationship between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches during the middle ages. His most recent book is The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity, published in the Divinations series of the University of Pennsylvania Press. The book manuscript was completed with the support of a research fellowship provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Professor Demacopoulos’ current research project is a reevaluation, via Postcolonial critique, of medieval encounters between Eastern and Western Christians in the era of the Crusades. 

Demacopoulos graduated with a B.A. in Medieval History from the University of Tennessee in 1992. He earned a Master of Theological Studies, with highest honors, at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1995 before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and of Five Models of Spiritual Direction in the Early Church (2007). He published a translation (from Latin) of St. Gregory the Great's Book of Pastoral Rule for St. Vladimir's Seminary Press' Popular Patristic Texts series. He is the co-editor with Aristotle Papanikolaou of Orthodox Readings of Augustine (2008) and Orthodox Constructions of the West (2013), and he is co-editor with Papanikolaou of the Fordham University Press series, Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought.

Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D.Aristotle Papanikolaou (, webpage) is a Professor of Theology, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture, Senior Fellow and Co-founder of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. Professor Papanikolaou received the 2012 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2012-13, Papanikolaou was awarded a Sabbatical Grant for Researchers from the Louisville Institute to explore how Eastern Christian notions of virtue are relevant for illuminating both the plight and healing of combat veterans who experience trauma. Professor Papanikolaou’s project employs Michel Foucault’s notion of truth-telling to scrutinize and elucidate the Orthodox Christian concept of virtue ethics. The end result of this research will be an innovative and constructive vision for understanding post-traumatic stress syndrome in combat veterans.

Papanikolaou earned his B.A., Summa Cum Laude, from Fordham University in 1988. He then graduated Valedictorian with an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, where he later served from 1995-2000 as Registrar and as Assistant Professor of Ethics and Theology. He received his Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews and of two monographs: Being with God: Trinity, Apophaticism and Divine-Human Communion (2006) and The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (2012). He is co-editor with George E. Demacopoulos of Orthodox Readings of Augustine (2008) and Orthodox Constructions of the West (2013), and he is co-editor with Demacopoulos of the Fordham University Press series, Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought and, with Elizabeth Prodromou of Thinking through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars (2008).

Professors George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou are Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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