CF104 Mysteries of Life and Death Summary

Part 1: Baptism and Chrismation

Lecturers: Archimandrite Ephrem Lash, Dr Marcus Plested

Aims of the Module:

  1. To introduce students to the text of the Eastern Orthodox rites of Baptism and Chrismation.
  2. To explore with students the nature and practice of Christian initiation in the New Testament Early Church.
  3. To introduce and discuss the pastoral and theological dimensions of the rites of Baptism and Chrismation in Eastern Orthodox tradition.

Course description:

Session 1: 'The spine-chilling Mysteries and their setting'. An introduction to Christian initiation. (Fr Ephrem)

Session 2: 'Baptism in the New Testament and Early Church' (Fr Ephrem)

Session 3: 'Orthodox Initiation in the contemporary situation: Pastoral and Theological issues. (Fr Ephrem)

Session 4: Case study I: St Cyril of Jerusalem (Dr. Marcus Plested)

Session 5: Case study II: St Ambrose of Milan (Dr. Marcus Plested)

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the basic structure of the Orthodox rites of Baptism and Chrismation.
  2. Articulate the principal theological themes of the Orthodox rites of Baptism and Chrismation.
  3. Grasp the lineaments of the practice of Christian initiation in the New Testament and Early Church.
  4. Have an informed appreciation of pastoral issues surrounding the use of Baptism in contemporary Orthodox practice.

 

Part 2: Sanctifying Life and Death

Lecturers: Fr Ian Graham, Professor David Frost

Aims of the Module:

To introduce students to the treatment of life and death in the liturgical tradition and pastoral practice of the Orthodox Church.

Course description:

Session 1: Sanctifying Life 1: The Occasional Services of the Book of Needs

Session 2: Sanctifying Life 2: Prayers during illness, visitation of the sick, and the Euchelaion (service of anointing)

Session 3: Sanctifying Death: the funeral and memorial services of the Orthodox Church

Session 4: Issues of Life and Death (I)

Session 5: Issues of Life and Death (II)

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, students should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the way in which the liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church sanctifies both life and death.
  2. Have an insight into the pastoral practice of the Orthodox Church when dealing with sickness, death and bereavement
  3. Grasp the lineaments of the Orthodox theological understanding of life and death
  4. Articulate an Orthodox response to selected bio-ethical questions.