The aim of the programme is to learn together how Christians have thought and continue to think about the God incarnate. Through classes, discussions, meetings with witnesses, visits to significant historical sites and moments of shared liturgy, we will be able to experience the living faith of Syriac, Armenian and Greek Orthodox Christians.
On the occasion of the approach of the XVII Centenary of the Council of Nicea (325-2025), we would like to give life to a five-year period of activities, initiatives and cultural projects revolving around the notion of the relationship between God and man, real and reciprocal despite the incommensurability between the two partners of the alliance. Here because, it is through the use of the category of kenosis, that one can make one right not only of the possibility for man of being capax Dei, but also of the possibility that God himself is capax hominis. This will be, above all, an opportunity to rethink some aspect of an “Islamic Christology”
At the heart of strong, but not unusual, tensions that characterise the debate within the universal Church, but also between Church and Churches, there is the urgency to return to the origins of the theological debate that inflamed the primitive and formally undivided Church. Then, from this observatory, to rethink in particular the centrality of the notion of Homoousios as a key theological intuition for Christian theology. It is necessarily a historical reconstruction of the “Christological dissent” of the fifth century. Nestorians and monophysites have since then constituted non-Chalcedonian churches: the Assyrian of the East, the Orthodox Coptic, the Ethiopian Orthodox, the Orthodox Eritrea, the Syro-Orthodox, the Syro-Orthodox Malankara, the Syro-Malankara Orthodox, and the Armenian Apostolic. Some of these churches and their particular rites are still alive and functioning in Istanbul.
Istanbul has been a crucial place for defining the tenets of our faith. Nicea is a couple of hours away from old Costantinople. Calcedonia lies on its Anatolian shore. Istanbul itself has been the seat of four ecumenical councils. Nowadays, Istanbul is a place where Christians of different faiths come together in a largely Islamic environment.
Consequently, Istanbul is also the best place to relate a Christian theological reflection on the wider ecumenical and interreligious debate. With this winter school we’ll begin by focusing on the debate among Christian communities and in the following years we will consider what we might call the “Islamic Christology”.