St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology


Latest from the Academy:

June 2011 Newsletter: The Holy Spirit - Annunciation - Pentecost

Concerning the Manner of the Lord's Conception
(OSB Translation & Comments: St. John Damascus)

The angel of the Lord was sent to the holy Virgin, a descendent of David, a house fallen and disgraced. And bearing glad tidings to her, he said, Hail thou highly favored, the Lord is with thee. She was concerned at his word, yet the angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God, and shalt bring forth a Son and shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins. Hence it comes that Jesus has the interpretation Savior. When she asked in her perplexity, “How can this be, seeing I know not a man?”, the angel answered, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also, the holy thing who shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. She responded, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to Thy word."

After the assent of the holy Virgin, the Holy Spirit descended on her, according to the word of the Lord which the angel spoke, purifying her, and granting her power to receive the divinity of the Word, and likewise power to bring forth. And then was she overshadowed by the enhypostatic Wisdom and Power of the most high God, the Son of God Who is of like essence with the Father as of Divine seed, and from her holy and most pure blood He formed flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, the first-fruits of our compound nature: not by procreation but by creation through the Holy Spirit.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklet.

May 2011 Newsletter: An Invitation to Study with the Academy

The response to our April newsletter was most pleasing, along with the numerous requests to know more about this man of great faith – St. Athanasius the Great.

With this in mind, the Academy wants to invite you to take advantage of a special offer for this summer. For a donation to help defer the costs of our Prisoner Education Project - Scholarship Program, we will send you as a thank-you gift, LESSON I of our correspondence course: CHST 400: The Incarnation – a study of the work written by St. Athanasius concerning the Incarnation of Christ.

Lesson One puts focus on his early life and days as a Bishop as well as the theological significance of St. Athanasius and his work. If you choose to continue, Lesson 2 - 10 are a careful study of his book On the Incarnation, moving from the Fall and its dilemma, to our desperate need of His Incarnation - life, death, and resurrection. You will also study the refutations of the other wrong teachings held by Jew and Gentile, concerning Jesus as the Christ. The course opens with CS Lewis and closes with a discussion of the great and holy things we gain through Jesus, our Christ.

See the attached PDF files to read more and to order Lesson One.

April 2011 Newsletter: Celebrating Pascha with St. Athanasius

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Throughout Church history, God raises up men to defend her from heresies attempting to compromise the divine person Jesus, and His saving Grace. They do so by trying to confuse and reduce the two distinct natures of Christ, thus making Him less than fully God, fully man.

St. Athanasius became one of those great defenders. In particular, against the mother of all heresies – Arianism and its chief author, Arius. Arius denied the divinity of Christ, claiming there was a time Jesus was not, making Jesus a created being and our hope of salvation null and void.

As archdeacon to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and barely in his early twenties, Athanasius successfully answered this false teaching at the great Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) based on his two-part work, Against the Heathen and The Incarnation of the Word of God. As it turned out, his role would not be forgotten by the defenders this horrific heresy, for after becoming bishop of Alexandria, he became the focus of their raging anger, being exiled several times.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklet.

March 2011 Newsletter: Death and Eternal Life

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

CHAPTER 23 presents the beginnings of a Christian philosophy of death and our hope in Christ, Jesus. It is most appropriate for the upcoming Season as we approach the Lord’s death and Resurrection, and its meaning to us as seen in the Book of Genesis – OSB Septuagint Old Testament and New Testament. For among other things, philosophy is a study of death and the hope. And just as life is twofold, so death is likewise.

1) Life is both natural and voluntary. It is natural in the sense of satisfying the blameless passions, for example, those of hunger, thirst and sleep; it is voluntary in the sense of clinging lovingly to this present life.

2) Death, likewise, is both natural and voluntary. It is natural when the soul is separated from the body; it is voluntary when one disdains this present life and aspires to the world to come. For as the Nicene Creed says, "I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklet.

February 2011 Newsletter: Born Again to Eternal Life

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

As we gain momentum – moving from the Baptism of our Lord in the River Jordan, to His coming Pascha – it is often helpful to be mindful of the Lord’s Words. This is especially true as they relate to His Incarnation and our salvation. They are critical in our gaining a deeper understanding of what it means for us, through Him and in the Holy Spirit, to be “born again to eternal life”. In this, we more clearly see how His Baptism is our Baptism, and how His Resurrection points us toward the promise of our resurrection and hope of eternal life. This month’s booklet – GOSPEL OF JOHN: Chapter 5 – With Study Notes – is a good starting point, offering a helpful perspective for the upcoming Great Lent. Below is a small sample.

5:24 Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life, and he shall not come into judgment, but passes from death into life.

1. The Jews were very angry at Jesus and wanted to kill Him, for He violated the Sabbath Day by healing the paralyzed man and by telling him to take up his bed and walk. Therefore Jesus tried to defuse the situation and calm their anger in an attempt to save them.

2. To accomplish these ends, He would vary His teaching – sometimes He would say high things and sometimes low things. He would say low things so as to calm down His opponents, and also to teach us humility. He would say high things, so as to lift up His opponents (and us as well) to the true faith.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklet.

Academy Highlights

 

 

The Orthodox Study Bible and The Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms are the fruit of the labors of the St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology. Both are available from Conciliar Press.

Academy E-Newsletter

About the Academy

St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology is an academic community of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America serving through Research, Writing, and Education

 

St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology was founded in 1976 as an arm of the Evangelical Orthodox Church and entered canonical Orthodoxy when that body was brought into the Antiochian Archdiocese. We offer a Correspondence Study Program, operate a Prisoner Education Program, and carry out various programs of research and study to prepare materials presenting the Orthodox Christian faith to Americans.

The Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms is an outstanding example of the fruit of our literature programs. Currently we publish booklets in the Timely Topics series and the Booklets for Children series. Also, whenever appropriate, we publish audio and video tapes on various topics.

The mission of St. Athanasius Academy is to prepare and communicate materials on the Orthodox Christian faith in English for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox people — particularly the laity. Thus, our goals are three-fold:

1. to be a valuable and helpful teaching ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North American and a service to all,

2. to help all Christians learn more about the history, teachings and practice of the Church, and

3. to help spread the Spirit of Orthodox Christianity to all Americans. 


Contact:

Paul Goetz

Correspondence Studies Division/Prisoner Education Project

St. Athanasius Academy

P.O. Box 1205

Elk Grove, CA  95759

(916) 686-6230 (Phone/Fax)

paul@saaot.edu