The Research Centre of the Institute for Orthodox Christians Studies

Our Research Centre has functioned since 2013 under the co-ordination of Dr Christine Mangala Frost. The Centre’s activity has been to organise regular Seminars, the purpose of which is to discuss research work in progress of scholars working in relation to the Institute. Research Seminars generally consist of 30-minute presentations followed by questions and discussion.

Our Research Seminars so far have tackled the following themes:

  • 29 October 2013: Razvan Porumb (Postdoctoral Fellow/Lecturer): ‘Orthodox Participation in Ecumenical Contexts’. Dr Razvan Porumb is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at IOCS. He has recently taken his doctorate through the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies and the Cambridge Theological Federation on the topic of ‘Orthodoxy and Ecumenism. Towards Active Metanoia’.
  • 13 December 2013: Mina Monir (Alumnus of the Institute currently working on his doctorate): ‘Trajectories through Early Christianity: Attitudes Toward the Temple of Jerusalem’. Mina Monir is a PhD candidate at King’s College London. He holds MA in Theology from IOCS/Cambridge Theological Federation and a BSc in Electrical and Power engineering from Ainshams University, Cairo. He is also the Chief Executive of his company GIB Egypt Ltd and a specialised writer in Egyptian politics and business.
  • 19 March 2014: Dr Alexandra Antohin: ‘Shaping Civil Society through Models of Christian Fellowship: a Case Study of Ethiopian Orthodox Associations’. Dr Alexandra Antohin has recently completed her PhD in Social Anthropology at University College London. For her doctoral studies on the patterns of community organizing around the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, she conducted 16 months of research in Dessie (an urban centre 400 km north of the capital). Topics that were explored included: the centrality of the covenant as a prevailing principle in narrative, ritual, material and social spheres; the culture of commemoration, such as popular observance of feast and fast; and the role of lay associations to mobilize diocese’s projects and church expansion.
  • 2 April 2014: Dr Caroline Shepherd: ‘A study of the psychological state of hesychia in the Anonymous Collection of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers’. Caroline’s PhD is in the Psychology of Religion, and is a ‘discursive psychology of personal faith’. Caroline analysed oral speech – conversations and story-telling, to see how people interpreted their life experiences, creating personal narratives to justify their assertions to a faith (or not). Caroline’s present interest is ‘prayer of the heart’ and she is trying to describe the personal experience of this within both a theological and psychological framework.
  • 4 April 2014: Dr Emmanouil Chalkiadakis: ‘Reconsidering the Past: the Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V and the Greek Revolution of 1821’. Dr Chalkiadakis hails from the University Ecclesiastical Academy of Heraklion Crete and is currently a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, as well as a member of the Ecclesiastical History Society and Royal Historical Society.
  • 27 November 2014: Father Dragos Herescu (Doctoral researcher, Durham): ‘Religion in Romania: Considerations on the origins of ethno-religiosity, Church-State relations and secularisation’. Father Dragos is Vice-Principal and Assistant Lecturer of the Institute. He is an alumnus of the Institute, having completed the MA in Pastoral Theology some years ago. He later graduated an MPhil in Theology with the Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge. He is currently undertaking doctoral research with Durham University, exploring the secularisation paradigm in the social and religious context of Eastern Orthodoxy, with particular focus on Romania.
  • 17 March 2015: Father Isidoros Katsos (Doctoral researcher, University of Cambridge):  ‘Divine Infinity in Philo of Alexandria: Much ado about Nothing?’ Father Isidoros is a PhD research student with the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge, and a Deacon of the Archdiocese of Athens, serving during his studies at St Athanasios Church, Cambridge.
  • 19 May 2015: Dr Christine Mangala Frost: (Cambridge): ‘The Quest for the Divine: an appraisal of Bhakti (Hindu devotional tradition) from an Orthodox Christian Perspective’. Dr Christine Mangala Frost, B.A.Hons. (Delhi), MA (Osmania), PhD (Cantab), is a Research Associate and guest lecturer for IOCS. A convert from Hinduism, her writings, lectures and broadcasts explore inter-faith issues. Currently, she is preparing a book entitled: The Human Icon: a Comparative Study of Hindu and Orthodox Christian Beliefs. She has served on the organizing committee of THE WAY project, as contributor and editor of the video box-set.
  • 14 July 2015: Father Marius Obreja (Doctoral researcher, Iasi, Romania) – ‘Sickness and suffering: a multidisciplinary perspective’. Fr Marius has recently commenced a PhD studentship in Iasi, Romania, and was in Cambridge for three months on an Erasmus research scholarship with the Institute. Fr Marius serves as a priest in Iasi, Romania.
  • 26 November 2015: Remus Manoila (Doctoral researcher, Bucharest): ‘Reading the Fathers in the seventeenth century: Isaac Newton on the Unity of the deity’. Remus Gabriel Manoila is a PhD candidate at the University of Bucharest and a visiting student at the University of Cambridge (History and Philosophy of Science Department). His doctoral research is entitled ‘The Concept of Dominion in Isaac Newton’s Thought: an Intellectual History Research’, focusing on Newton’s theological and natural philosophical papers. Remus earned a BA in Orthodox Theology (2012) and an MA in Philology (2013) at the University of Bucharest.
  • 10 December 2015: Dr Philip Gorsky (Nottingham):  ‘Richard Rolle, The English Medieval Mystics, and the Eastern Orthodox Tradition’. Dr Philip Gorski is a Research Associate of the Institute. He has taught at the Universities of London (Goldsmiths’) Loughborough and Nottingham Trent. His Doctorate (The University of Nottingham) was entitled ‘Holy Foolishness, Russian Literature and Christianity’. Dr Gorski has published in the areas of Russian Literature, English Literature and Orthodox Christianity.