Dr. David C. Ford, Professor of Church History at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [STOTS], South Canaan, PA, was among the keynote speakers at the Ninth Annual Symposium of the Eighth Day Institute, held in Wichita, KS. Conducted in conjunction with the celebrated Eighth Day Bookstore, the symposium’s sessions were held at Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in addition to the bookstore.
Dr. Ford delivered a plenary presentation titled “An Orthodox Theology of Eros, Sexuality, and Marriage in the Vision of Saint John Chrysostom.” He also led a workshop titled “The Eternality of Marriage.” During the Friday evening banquet, he offered brief reflections on the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt. He said that he was especially blessed by the very grateful response he received to the quotations he shared from Saint John Chrysostom on the glory and beauty of marriage in all its aspects, especially when it is lived in communion with Christ.
“Of all the Eastern Church Fathers, the one who spoke the most about eros, sexuality, and marriage was Saint John Chrysostom, the powerfully eloquent, late fourth-century preacher of Antioch and Constantinople,” Dr. Ford wrote in his plenary presentation abstract. “As he ministered to the mostly married members of his flock, he shared his high view of the glories of marriage, especially when it is centered in Christ and lived in His Church. Beginning with a real appreciation of the inherent goodness of sexual desire, Saint John shows in many ways how Christian marriage is meant to be an image of Christ the Bridegroom’s holy love (agape and eros) for His Bride, the Holy Church.”
Symposium participants also attended Saturday evening Great Vespers at Wichita’s Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral.
Further details on the Symposium are available online.