Irenaeus of Lyon’s Adversus Haereses: A Seminar on the Foundations of Early Christian Theology

St. Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN

July 11—16, 2021

Fr. John Behr and Professor Lewis Ayres will lead a summer seminar of graduate students in a close reading of Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses. One of the first systematic presentations of the Christian theology, Irenaeus’ refutation of Gnosticism as well as his bold defense of the canon of Scripture and its connection with the preaching of the apostles sets the trajectory for future theological reflection. Through the engagement of this principal text, students will be able to grasp the contours of the early Church’s discernment of the Christian faith.

The seminar will be held in the monastic setting of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. Meals and lodging will be provided and students will receive a travel stipend.

Working knowledge of relevant ancient languages will be helpful, but not essential. Preference will be given to Ph.D. students in theology, though advanced M.A. students will be considered.

There will be two sessions each day in the morning and in the afternoon. Each session will include lectures and seminar-style discussions working through all five books of Adversus Haereses. Students will be expected to prepare the readings carefully and participate in the discussions of the material.

Applicants will be required to submit:

  • A completed online application form.
  • An updated CV.
  • At least one and as many as two letter(s) of recommendation.
  • A statement of research interest no longer than 750 words, which includes an explanation of how this seminar might bear on the student’s current or future research plans.
  • One academic writing sample (30 pages maximum).

All application materials can be submitted via the online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Fifteen students will be admitted to this seminar. Application materials are due March 15.

The Lumen Christi Fellows are selected from students at the University of Chicago and other area universities. Fellows demonstrate an interest in the Catholic intellectual tradition and in sharing community with peers. They receive invitations to private events, dinners, and seminars, while committing to reasonable participation in Lumen Christi programs. Fellows are invited to focus on key areas relevant to their interests: Scripture, Theology and Philosophy, Political Thought, Science and Religion, Catholic Literature and Culture, the University and Liberal Education. The Fellows’ leadership team coordinates with Lumen Christi staff on vision and programming. Interested students are encouraged to apply.

Direct any further questions to Andrew Horne.

Lumen Christi Institute