Orthodox Apologetics I
September 14th-December 21st (New Style)
Available Times (EST):
What is apologetics? Simply put, apologetics seeks to provide a systematic defense of Orthodox theology. In our times, in the midst of so many assaults against the Church, we can see how a firm grounding in Orthodox apologetic theology is so important, especially for our youth. Our students need to know the doctrines of our Faith. Yet, we need more than this. We need to foster an Orthodox worldview. We need to equip them with the ability to defend the faith, to not be intimidated in the face of what Saint Paul calls “knowledge falsely so called.” (I Timothy 6:20)
This course will give students the opportunity to acquire the foundations of this mindset. We will consider, discuss, and develop defenses against a wide variety of different sorts of attack on the Faith.
This Apologetics I class will span the course of the Fall semester. In the Spring, the continuation will be offered, Apologetics II.
In this course, students seek to answer the following questions and topics in light of the teaching and practice of the Church:
• What is knowledge?
• What is the difference between natural and spiritual knowledge?
• What is the relationship between faith and knowledge?
• Do miracles contradict natural science?
• How do we know that God exists?
• How do we know that the soul is immortal?
• Multiculturalism, political correctness, and our understanding of history
• What is the difference between Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism?
• What is the difference between Orthodox Christianity and Protestant sectarianism?
• Why can’t we be Orthodox and be ecumenist?
• Why is moral relativism a problem?
• Students will also be required to bring arguments/attacks on the Faith they have come across in their lives and criticize them using logic and apologetic theology.
• While this course has an academic aspect to it, its primary purpose is pastoral. The Orthodox student should immediately be able to make better sense of the world and its many isms, and to feel more confident about their faith in that context.
- What is the difference between religion and science?
- What is the difference between Faith and reason?
Reading and other materials will be provided by the instructor free of
Instructional Format: A class will be held each week in real-time, using the Zoom web conferencing system. In addition, video lessons will be sent out throughout the week. Students will be expected to watch these lessons each week, completing any activities sent out with the video. Students will also be expected to meet on Zoom with the instructor for a one on one session every two weeks, by appointment. There will be more on this below.
Office Hours: In addition to the required bi-weekly meetings, office hours will be available each week. Office hours will be conducted using Zoom and will be by appointment.
Students will need to read a bit, reflect a bit almost every day. Student participation in classroom discussion is essential. Students will be expected to write a few essays throughout the class. This should
not intimidate the student. An essay is an attempt, not the final word, on a given topic. At the completion of the trimester, students will be expected to give a presentation to the class. Also at the completion of
the trimester, there will be a final exam. The exam will be oral, not written, and conducted one on one with the instructor.
As with all of our classes, enrolment will be limited to ten students per section so as to allow for tailored instruction.
The assignments above may sound intimidating. This is why students will be required to have a one on one session with the instructor every two weeks. This allows each student to ask questions about the
reading, the essay he is presently working on (whether with the writing process or the material itself), or other concerns that are relevant to the class. These meetings will not be tests. Think of them more as
participation in one on one meetings with the instructor, the essays, the final exam and the presentation.