Ecumenical Panel on "For the Life of the World: Toward a Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church"

Feb 17, 2022
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture
1025 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Stephen MeawadCaldwell University

Aristotle PapanikolaouFordham University

Msgr. Peter SchallenbergKatholische Sozialwissenschaftliche Zentralstelle

William SchweikerUniversity of Chicago Divinity School

Free and open to the public. This program will be held as a hybrid, in-person and online event. Presented by the Lumen Christi Institute and the Fordham Orthodox Christian Studies Center. Cosponsored by the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion and the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies.

“As we make this journey towards full communion, we already have the duty to offer common witness to the love of God for all people by working together in the service of humanity”

Common Declaration of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis, May 2014.

This panel will examine the recent social document For the Life of the World: Toward a Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church, published with the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 2020. The fruit of critical reflection by Orthodox Christian lay scholars and Church leaders, For the Life of the World offers guidance to navigate contemporary challenges faced by the Orthodox Christian on a wide range of social issues—including racism, bioethics, ecology, and human rights. The document also gives a synthetic presentation of the Orthodox Christian perspective to the wider Christian world.

In this spirit, the Lumen Christi Institute and Fordham University’s Center for Orthodox Christian Studies will present a panel event that will put this document in an ecumenical conversation with leading scholars in order draw from it wisdom that benefits all Christians.

Students and faculty are invited to join for a master class with Perry Hamalis and Gayle Woloschak on For the Life of the World on February 18.

This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.

If you are not currently affiliated with the University (enrolled student, faculty, or staff) it is expected that you review the University’s COVID mitigation efforts. The University expects every event attendee to adopt precautions designed to mitigate the risk of viral transmission.

Event attendees will be required to wear a N-95, KN-95, or KF-94 mask in Swift Hall. KN-95 masks will be provided  for anyone who needs one.

If you have any questions, please contact us.


Stephen Meawad is Assistant Professor of Theology at Caldwell University. He holds a BA from New York University, an MTS from Holy Cross School of Theology, and a PhD from Duquesne University. Meawad specialty is St. Gregory of Nyssa and virtue ethics. Meawad previously taught at the University of St. Joseph and Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological School in Anaheim, California. He his the author of the forthcoming Beyond Virtue Ethics: An Orthodox Christian Ethic of Godward Spiritual Struggle (Georgetown University Press).

Aristotle Papanikolaou is the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture at Fordham University, where he is also the co-founding director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. He holds a BA from Fordham, an MDiv from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Prof. Papanikolaou’s areas of expertise are Eastern Orthodox theology, Trinitarian theology, and political theology. He is co-editor of several books and author of The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame Press, 2012) and Being with God: Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine-Human Communion (Notre Dame Press, 2006).

Msgr. Peter Schallenberg is Chair of Moral Theology and Ethics at the Theological Faculty Paderborn in Germany and director of the Katholische Sozialwissenschaftliche Zentralstelle (KSZ), or the Catholic Social Science Social Center, in Mönchengladbach, Germany. He also acts as an advisor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Integral Development of Man on questions of economics and social ethics. Msgr. Schallenberg studied at the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He completed his habilitation in moral theology at the University of Münster. He is director of the Catholic Social Science Central Office in Mönchengladbach, a member of the German Caritas Association’s Commission on Social Policy and Society, conventual chaplain of the Sovereign Order of Malta, and serves on the Spiritual Advisory Board of the Federal Association of Catholics in Business and Administration (KKV) on behalf of the German Bishops’ Conference.

William Schweiker is the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He holds an MDiv from Duke University and a PhD from the University of Chicago, His scholarship and teaching engage theological and ethical questions attentive to global dynamics, comparative religious ethics, the history of ethics, and hermeneutical philosophy. His many books include Religion and the Human Future: An Essay in Theological Humanism (2008, with David E. Klemm); Dust that Breathes: Christian Faith and the New Humanisms (2010); and Religious Ethics: Meaning and Method (2020, with David Clairmont). He has published numerous articles and award-winning essays, as well as edited and contributed to six volumes, including Humanity Before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Ethics  and was chief editor and contributor to A Companion to Religious Ethics, a comprehensive and innovative work in the field of comparative religious ethics.