Dr. Robin Darling Young Lecture

Dr. Robin Darling Young Addresses Participants on “Evagrius the Monk and the Care of Souls”

Renowned scholar Dr. Robin Darling Young, Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN, delivered the 11th Annual SS. Cyril and Methodius Lecture on Monday, May 2, 2011. This year’s event was held at a different venue from last year – the Kearns Spirituality Center, situated on the picturesque campus of La Roche College in Allison Park, Pennsylvania.     

A noted specialist on the History of Christianity, Professor Young delivered a most interesting and engaging talk on “Evagrius the Monk and the Care of Souls.”  Coming from an episcopal family, Evagrius was born in Pontus of Asia Minor in 345 and died in 399. A highly-educated classical scholar who was strongly influenced by the great thinkers Origen and Clement of Alexandria, he was ordained a deacon by St. Gregory the Theologian and spent several of his years as a monk in the monastic communities of Nitria and Kellia in Lower Egypt, where he produced his most famous literature from 382-399. As a teacher of monks, Evagrius was purportedly the first to systematically collect the oral teachings of the Desert Fathers and authored his Praktike for simple monks and his Gnostike for more contemplative and theoretically-minded students. With regard to the care of souls, Evagrius recognized eight evil thoughts, or logismoi, a diagnostic list that sought to assist a monk in identifying temptations, assessing his strengths and weaknesses, and seeking spiritual remedies.  

Rev. John G. Petro, Dr. Robin Darling Young, Bishop William Skurla, Very Rev. Eugene P. Yackanich
Rev. John G. Petro, Dr. Robin Darling Young, Bishop William Skurla, Very Rev. Eugene P. Yackanich

The well-attended Lecture concluded with an informative question-and-answer session between Prof. Young and several members of the audience, clergy and laity alike. This year’s event felt the absence of two beloved members of the Christian community who were frequent attendees at these popular Lectures: His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Basil (Schott) of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, head of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., both of whom fell asleep in the Lord within the past year. Among the attendees this year were seminarians from Christ the Saviour Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Seminary in Johnstown, PA, as well as the faculty, staff, and seminarians from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, together with friends and supporters. Following Prof. Young’s lecture, a gracious reception was hosted, where all in attendance enjoyed refreshments and fellowship with one another.

Before her professorship at Notre Dame, Dr. Robin Darling Young taught at Wesley Theological Seminary and the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., as well as the University of Chicago. Having earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago Divinity School, with a specialization in the History of Christianity, she has written, translated or co-edited six books, contributed to twenty-five articles or chapters in books and encyclopedias, and has authored book reviews in several theological journals and magazines.

Deacon Ray and Mary Frances Zadzilko
Deacon Ray Zadzilko and his wife, Mary Frances, take orders for lecture CD’s.

The annual SS. Cyril and Methodius Lecture series is sponsored by the Byzantine Catholic Seminary. Its purpose is to invite noted scholars from both Catholic and Orthodox traditions to offer meaningful presentations within their areas of expertise and to perpetuate the theological dialogue in both the academic community and the Church.   

The Lecture will be available on a CD by the end of May. Check www.bcs.edu website for more information.

Fr. Stelyios S. Muksuris, M.Litt., Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Liturgy and Languages
Byzantine Catholic Seminary


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