Current IOCS PhD Scholars

Kidist Bahru Gemeda

In 2015, a master’s class discussion on the Hebrew term למה (“why”) inspired Kidist to study the questions posed to God in the book of Psalms. Her MTh thesis on “Ethiopic Reception of Gen 3:16” furthered her acquaintance with the Andəmta commentary, which is a traditional Ethiopian Commentary of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. In her Ph.D. project, entitled “Questions Posed to God in the Andəmta Commentary of Psalms,” her passion for this traditional commentary meets with her curiosity about the questions addressed to the Lord in the book of Psalms. Currently, Kidist is in the last stage of her research, after having studied under the supervision of Dr Ralph Lee (Research Associate IOCS, Research Associate SOAS University of London – Primary Supervisor), Prof James Aitken, of blessed memory (Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge) and, more recently, Revd Dr John Binns (Visiting Professor of IOCS, as Secondary Supervisor).

Jeremy Ingpen

After a career in management consulting and affordable housing, Jeremy N. Ingpen (BA, Oxford, Modern History; MA, Reading, European Studies) started translating the work of French Orthodox theologian Olivier Clément in 2013. His translations include Clément’s Transfiguring Time, 2019, Michel Evdokimov’s Two Martyrs in a Godless World, 2021, and Clément’s Dialogues with Patriarch Athenagoras, 2022. He is pursuing a post-career doctorate on the life work of Olivier Clément, with the working title The Face is the Prophecy of the Kingdom: an introduction to the work of Olivier Clément. His supervisors are Elizabeth Theocritoff and Pantelis Kalaitzidis.

Joseph Matlak

My doctoral research is focused on the relationship between celibacy, marriage, and the ministerial priesthood in Eastern and Western Christianity. I developed an interest in the history and theology of Eastern Christianity while completing a BA in Ancient History at King’s College London, and I began to appreciate the importance of my current research while completing a Masters of Divinity and Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC. The hope for my research is that it will provide a positive theological contribution to ongoing ecumenical dialogue between Eastern and Western Christianity.

Fr. Bishoy Lamie Mikhail

I am a Coptic Orthodox Priest and have worked with refugees, victims of war, orphans, as well as on community development in Egypt, Sudan and Lebanon. I studied an MA in Participation, Power, and Social Change in 2010 at the University of Sussex, IDS, and an MA in Theology at the Pope Shenouda III Coptic Orthodox Seminary in NJ in 2018. Learning how Metropolitan Athanasios from the Coptic Diocese of Beni Suef (1962-2000) lived and managed his diocese by employing the principles of an active participatory approach, I have started a PhD research project entitled “Metropolitan Athanasios: empowering participatory diocesan management”. I am delighted to pursue this research project under the supervision of Dr Ralph Lee (Research Associate IOCS, Research Associate SOAS University of London – First Supervisor) and Dr Erica C D Hunter (Affiliated Researcher, University of Cambridge, Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity, Emerita Affiliate SOAS University of London -Second Supervisor).     

Tyler Shattuck

Tyler Shattuck studies environmental theology in Eastern and Western Christianity. Though he is a Roman Catholic, he has long had ecumenical commitments and is deeply excited to be immersed in Eastern Orthodoxy. His thesis, tentatively titled ‘How to See the World: Creation as Theophany in Eastern and Western Environmental Theology’ looks specifically at how Eastern Orthodox environmental theologies—particularly the ideas of sacramentality and ascetical practice—can enrich and complicate our reading of that seminal Western thinker, Thomas Aquinas, in the hopes of bringing more Eastern thought and practice into the current Western discourse around the environment. He lives in Oregon with his wife and children. His supervisors are Elizabeth Theokritoff and Bruce Foltz.

John Hartley

My research is focused on the presentation of moral evil in a short story by the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. Specifically, I am looking at whether the artistic rendering of the ontological and epistemological dimensions of sin in the short story correlates to an established Russian Orthodox hamartiological framework. This has entailed engagement with the work of Pavel Florensky, Rowan Williams, and Ksana Blank. I am grateful for the support of my supervisors Christoph Schneider and Caryl Emerson.

Jennifer Palmer Broome

Following retirement as a Solicitor, Jennifer pursued her interest in the study of religions at SOAS. With the encouragement of her Supervisors, Dr Ralph Lee (Research Associate IOCS, Research Associate SOAS University of London) and Dr Erica C D Hunter (Affiliated Researcher Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies University of Cambridge, Senior lecturer in Eastern Christianity, Emerita Dept. History, Religions and Philosophies SOAS) Jennifer embarked on a post-career Ph.D. This will focus on the contribution, until 555CE, of the Armenian naxarar, a hereditary nobility, in shaping the country’s Christianity and the establishment of the Armenian Church. Christianity arrived in Armenia during the first centuries CE, but Christianisation of the nation was realised in the fourth century from the interplay of the naxarars, the Armenian Arsacid monarchy, the powerful ecclesiasts of the time and the Sasanians.

Mark Chenoweth

Mark Chenoweth graduated with an M.Div. and Th.M. from St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in 2018. He is working with IOCS on his dissertation under the tentative title, “Breaking the Honorable Silence: Universal Salvation in the Eschatology of Maximus the Confessor” under advisors Dr. Christoph Schneider and Dr. Paul Blowers. Mark is currently an adjunct professor of theology at St. John’s University in Queens, NY, and a drum instructor for a local music school.

Revd Calum Samuelson

As an ordained minister (Free Methodist Church) and theological educator (Africa Nazarene University), Calum (MPhil, Cantab) has become increasingly interested in how spiritual concepts are expressed in different traditions, cultures, and contexts. After focusing on aspects of Byzantine monasticism under the supervision of Prof Peter Sarris, Calum developed familiarity with the monastic tradition of Ethiopia. He is now finishing his thesis entitled ‘Expressions of Theōsis in selected Ethiopic Monastic Literature’ under the supervision of Dr Ralph Lee and Dr Daniel Assefa. His project involves analysis of monastic texts (e.g. Śostu Mäṣaḥǝftä Mänäkwäsat; ሦስቱ መጻሕፍተ መነኰሳት) written in Gǝʿǝz (ግዕዝ) and comparison of these texts with related works written in Greek and Syriac.