Prof. McPherson Gives Paper on Nilus the Ascetic


The Rev. Dr. Clair W. McPherson, Associate Professor of Ascetical Theology, gave a well-received paper at the 20th Annual Ecumenical Theological and Interdisciplinary Symposium, held on December 1, 2012, and sponsored by The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality. The paper, "Poor in Paradise: the Ascetical Vision of Nilus of Ancyra in Peri Akthmosunh (On Holy Poverty),"is a chapter in Prof. McPherson's forthcoming book The Spiritual Vision of Nilus the Ascetic. Saint Nilus of Ancyra was a Greek Byzantine protegé of St. John Chrysostom who later became abbot of a monastery near Ancyra, earning a reputation as a worker of wonders and spiritual master. Saint Nilus authored extensive ascetical literature, both longer tracts on moral and monastic topics and nearly 1,000 letters, that influenced both Eastern and Western monasticism.

The symposium was convened by Prof. Theodore Damian, a patristics scholar at Metropolitan College of New York who will visit Prof. McPherson's course Spirituality of the Early Church this spring. Scholars from the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Academy of Romanian Scientists participated in the symposium. Guests of honor were His Eminence Dr. Nicolae Condrae, Archbishop, The Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese and the Americas, and His Excellency Marian Parjol, the Consul General of Romania in New York.

Prof. McPherson's paper will be published by the Institute in the next volume of the theological journal Symposium.