Who is Fr Doru Costache?

Protopresbyter Dr. Doru Costache is senior lecturer in patristic studies at the Sydney College of Divinity, Australia, where he works since 2005. From 1995 to 2004, he worked in systematic theology at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Bucharest. From 2001 to 2003, he taught theology and patristics at the International Academy for the Study of the History of Culture and Religion, Bucharest, and in 2002 he lectured in fundamental or apologetic theology for the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Craiova. After being sent to Australia by the Romanian Patriarchate for a parish in Sydney, within the Sydney College of Divinity he has lectured from the outset at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College and since 2016 he was coopted as member of St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College, where he will begin to lecture in March 2017.

In 2000 he defended a doctoral thesis at the University of Bucharest, on St. Maximus the Confessor, Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae and the anthropic cosmological principle, in which he made the first ever references to transdisciplinary methodology in Romanian theology. After the defence of his dissertation, he worked within various research programmes in the field of the dialogue between science and theology, funded by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, where he had worked, among others, alongside Dr. Magda Stavinschi and Prof. Basarab Nicolescu, honorary member of the Romanian Academy. Out of this activity have resulted pioneering works in Romania, of which noteworthy is the series of five volumes edited together with Dr. Stavinschi, Noua Reprezentare a Lumii (A New Worldview). Costache has established the first Romanian publishing house specialised in the dialogue between science and theology, XXI Eonul Dogmatic (XXI The Dogmatic Eon), which operated until 2007 and which has produced, alongside the above-mentioned series, a collection of translations from English and French whereby the field of science and theology was introduced to the Romanian public. In fact, XXI Eonul Dogmatic published the first post-communist Romanian volume in the field, in 2001, namely, Știință și Teologie: Preliminarii pentru Dialog (Science and Theology: Preliminaries for the Dialogue), coordinated by The Very Revd. Prof. Dumitru Popescu, honorary member of the Romanian Academy. Among the coauthors of this book was Fr. Costache himself, who has also contributed, in 2003, to a book coordinated by The Very Revd Prof. Ioan Ică sr, Sfinții Părinți despre Originile și Destinul Cosmosului și Omului (The Holy Fathers on the Origins and Destiny of the Cosmos and Humankind).

Within St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, in Sydney, he reorganised and developed patristic studies by creating and lecturing for no less than twelve course units, for various levels (undergraduate and postgraduate), accredited by the Sydney College of Divinity and thus entering in the patrimony of this federation of theological institutions. Also at St Andrew’s, since 2009 and until 2016, he has convened, together with other colleagues from the faculty and other institutions, the seven St. Andrew’s Patristic Symposia, which have received recognition both in Australia and abroad. The proceedings of these conferences have been published in the scholarly journal of the faculty, Phronema. Several of these articles have been subsequently republished in two collected volumes on the Alexandrian and Cappadocian traditions, edited by Fr. Costache together with Dr. Mario Baghos and Dr. Philip Kariatlis. These volumes contain a number of new contributions by The Very Revd. Prof. John Anthony McGuckin, The Revd. Prof. Bogdan Bucur, Prof. Adrian Marinescu and Prof. Vlad Niculescu. A third volume is in preparation, on St. John Chrysostom, coedited by Dr. Baghos and Fr. Costache.

Fr. Costache has published intensely in recent years. Of note are his numerous articles on the cosmology of the holy fathers and a series of articles on gender and marriage in St. Maximus. In 2015, one of his contributions on theological cosmology was published in the prestigious work, The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor, edited by his illustrious friends, Prof. Pauline Allen (Fellow of the British Academy and the Australian Academy of the Humanities) and Prof. Bronwen Neil (Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities). At the end of 2016 he has finalised, together with Prof. Neil and Dr. Kevin Wagner, a book on sleep, dreams and virtue in Late Antiquity. Also towards the end of 2016 he has concluded the editorial work, together with Prof. James Harrison and The Revd. Prof. Darren Cronshaw, for the volume Wellbeing, Personal Wholeness and the Social Fabric: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Currently he works towards finalising three of his own books, of which the first treats the contemplation of nature in Clement the Alexandrian, whose summary is offered by the present lecture, the second continues the exploration of the Alexandrian tradition in the fourth and fifth century, and the third one considers the cosmology of the Cappadocian fathers.

Fr. Costache is currently involved in the international programme Science and Orthodoxy around the World, hosted by the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens, of which tonight’s event is a part.





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