Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou is a Professor of Theology and the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture. He is Co-Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, and Senior Fellow at the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion. In 2012, he received the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities. He was born/raised in Chicago, Illinois, and he enjoys Russian literature, Byzantine and Greek music, and is a bit of a foodie.
Since founding the Orthodox Christian Studies Center with George Demacopoulos in 2012, he has dedicated his time to building the Center’s endowment and starting a host of globally-recognized initiatives such as the National Endowment for the Humanities Matching Challenge Grant, which funds two annual research fellowships in Orthodox Studies at Fordham. Beginning in 2017, he will co-launch a new international and interdisciplinary journal in Orthodox Christian Studies. He holds a BA from Fordham University (1988), MDiv from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (1991), and a PhD from the University of Chicago (1997). Among his more recent publications are The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame University Press), and co-authored with George Demacopoulos, Christianity, Democracy and the Shadow of Constantine and Orthodox Constructions of the West (Fordham University Press).
Dr. Papanikolaou will reflect on “Why Be Orthodox?”, which targets the issue of “I'm spiritual, but not religious”.
Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou is Visiting Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution, teaching in the Program in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress (Washington, DC) and a Non-Resident Fellow at The Hedayah International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (Abu Dhabi). Before coming to Fletcher, Prodromou served a diplomatic appointment as Vice Chair and Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2004-2012), and she was a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Religion & Foreign Policy Working Group (2011-2015). Her research interests focus on the intersection of religion, democracy, and security, with particular expertise on religion and geopolitics in the Near East and Southeastern Europe.
Published widely in scholarly and policy journals and media, she has been involved in advisory work for international and non-governmental organizations on international religious freedom. Her current research focuses on migration, religion, and security in Europe and Eurasia, as well as on response strategies of religious institutions to state repression. She holds a Ph.D. and an S. M. in political science from MIT. She holds a B.A. in History and IR from Tufts University, an M.A.L.D. from The Fletcher School, and a Ph.D in Political Science from MIT. Prodromou was awarded a Distinguished Service Award by the Tufts University Alumni Association in 2008. She is co-editor of and contributor to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and American Higher Education (2016) and Thinking Through Faith: New Perspectives from Orthodox Christian Scholars (2008). Among her newest publications, co-edited with Ann Bezzerides, is Reflection on Political Science and the Study of Orthodox Christianity in the American Academy: Thoughts on Mainstream and Margins (Notre Dame University Press).
Dr Prodromou will address"Our Orthodox Public Witness: Some Thoughts on Current Issues on the Church Transforming the World".