“Fathers Know Best: Patristic Solutions to Post-Modern Problems” Series

Join us at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings in February and March for our series, “Fathers Know Best: Patristic Solutions to Post-Modern Problems,” at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill with the presentations beginning at 7:30 p.m.  We hope to see you there!


In this series we explore a variety of themes in Patristic theology, the theology of the early Christian writers from c. AD 100 to AD 451 who are typically referred to as the “Church Fathers.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

“Our Hearts Are Restless until they Rest in Version 3.0: Consumerism and Desire”


Rev’d Beth Maynard
Episcopal Priest and Writer

Religious voices have often interpreted consumer culture (superficially) as a symptom of over-focus on material goods, and urged Christians (just as superficially) to be less materialistic. Drawing on St. Augustine via the contemporary theologian William T. Cavanaugh, we’ll explore a very different vision of consumerism as driven by essentially spiritual desires and as constituting an essentially spiritual practice, one that trains us to chase after a false transcendence of place, time, and matter. What if God were calling us to more focus on the material world, not less? What if we looked more directly at our desires?

The Rev. Beth Maynard grew up in what she thought was probably the only atheist family in Nashville, Tennessee.  After a conversion to Christ in her late teens, she worked first in classical music publishing and then at a shelter for homeless women and men. Ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1994, she has served as a parish priest and a college chaplain in West Virginia and Massachusetts. She founded and led Mill Street House, an intentional community on Boston’s North Shore, from 2006-2012, and is an adjunct instructor in liturgy and spirituality at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Along with pamphlets, sermons and articles on themes of social justice, spiritual formation and stewardship, she has also published three books: Meditations for Lay Eucharistic Ministers, the collaboration The Bread of Life: A Cookbook for Body and Soul, and an anthology of sermons in dialogue with U2 songs, Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog. Currently, she is working on making a series of highly unfashionable public domain works of spiritual theology available for Kindle.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

“What has Cappadocia to do with Boston? Basil and the two Gregories on Education, Spirituality, and the 99%”

Cappadocian Fathers

Dr. Jim Skedros
Kantonis Professor of Byzantine Studies, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

Dr. Skedros’ talk will introduce the social context of the Cappadocian Fathers [Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzan), and Gregory Nyssa; all fourth-century Greek fathers] and focus specifically on issues of education (theological and secular), spirituality, and social justice in their writings.

James C. Skedros is the Michael G. and Anastasia Cantonis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Professor of Early Christianity at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA, where from 1998 to 2002 he served as Acting Dean of Holy Cross. A graduate of Holy Cross, Dr. Skedros received his Th.D. from Harvard Divinity School in the History of Christianity. From 1996 to 1998 he was Assistant Professor of Orthodox Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. His research areas include popular religious practices in Late Antiquity and Byzantium, history of the Byzantine church, Byzantine hagiography, pilgrimage, and Christian and Muslim relations. As a Fulbright Scholar, he has conducted field and archaeological research in Thessaloniki, Greece related to the veneration of St. Demetrios.  He has served as co-chair for the Eastern Orthodox Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion as well as secretary for the Orthodox Theological Society in America. His publications include “Festivals, Shrines, and the ‘Undistinguished Mob'” in Byzantine Christianity: A People’s History of Christianity(2006); “The Heroikos and Popular Christianity in the Third Century,” in Philostratus’s Heroikos: Religion and Cultural Identity in the Third Century C.E. (2004); “The Cappadocian Fathers on the Veneration of the Martyrs” in Studia Patristica (2001); andSt. Demetrios of Thessaloniki: Civic Patron and Divine Protector (1999).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

 Patristic Methods of Reading the Bible


Dr. Douglas Finn
Faculty Member, Boston College Department of Theology

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