Professor Lewis Ayres and Fr. Andrew Summerson will lead a summer seminar of graduate students in a close reading of Gregory Nazianzen’s Theological Orations. A difficult character who for a time presided over the Council of Constantinople in 381, Gregory (c.330 – 390) was one of the most well-educated among fourth-century Christian thinkers. His five Theological Orations, delivered during his tenure in Constantinople between 379 and 381, are works of high art, as well as complex theology, and generated extensive commentary throughout later Byzantine history. The Orations are sometimes enigmatic, lacking the prolixity of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa’s works, but the attack on Eunomius (and others) to defend the Nicene faith found in the Orations is no less fascinating or profound. Gregory’s Orations constitute one of the key works that define pro-Nicene theology and shape the orthodox Trinitarian faith.



· The seminar will be held at Windle House, hosted by the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

· Meals and lodging will be provided.

· Participants will receive a stipend of up to $350 to offset travel expenses.

· Participants will arrive on Sunday, June 25 and depart on Friday, July 1.

· Participants will be provided with a copy of On God and Christ: The Five Theological Orations and two Letters to Cledonius, trans. L. Wickham and R. Norris (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2002).

· Fifteen applicants will be admitted to the seminar.

Working knowledge of relevant ancient languages will be helpful, but not essential. Preference will be given to Ph.D. students in theology, philosophy, classics, and other relevant fields of study, though advanced M.A. students will be considered.

There will be two sessions each day in the morning and in the afternoon. Each session will include lectures and seminar-style discussions working through all five orations, and parallel texts from Gregory, other Cappadocian theologians, and select passages from Maximus the Confessor’s principal commentary on Gregory, the Ambigua. Students will be expected to prepare the readings carefully and participate in the discussions of the material.


The application deadline is March 13, 2023. Contact us with any questions at