St Cyril of Alexandria: A model of reconciliation for the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches?
St Cyril's Theological College Winter Lecture

Keynote Speaker/s

The Very Revd. Professor John Anthony McGuckin
Archpriest of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Romania
Professor of Early Christian Thought, Theological Faculty of Oxford University

St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College, a Member Institution of the Sydney College of Divinity, is delighted to be hosting internationally renowned patristics scholar and Orthodox theologian Fr John Anthony McGuckin.  He will deliver the St Cyril’s College 2020 Winter Lecture.

The Very Revd. Professor John Anthony McGuckin is an Archpriest of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Romania. He is the Nielsen Emeritus Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, in New York; and currently is Professor of Early Christian Thought in the Theological Faculty of Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the British Royal Historical Society, and has authored more than thirty books on patristic thought and spirituality.

The lecture will be a webinar via Zoom at 8pm AEST, 6am New York and 11am UK time. Attendees will have the chance to interact with Fr John and ask questions after his paper.


Despite years of dialogues and recent eirenic agreements, the great separation of the Orthodox family of churches, who share so much in common, continues into its sixteenth century. The last synod that brought together Coptic, Ethiopic, Latin and Greek representatives in the cause of speaking about reconciliation, was in Florence in 1439. There they adopted an axiom: “Saints cannot diverge in faith.” It seems an interesting starting point for us to consider in this lecture how St. Cyril of Alexandria, the great patristic authority on Christology, honoured throughout the Orthodox families, might still serve as a reconciling force to heal our divisions. The lecture will consider this in regard to his dogmatics, his attitude to synods and the reconciliation of schisms, and his spiritual theology.


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