Sacred History II: The Holy Prophets and Christ

Adults (over 18 years of age)

Classes: October 11-December 22, 2021

6:00-7:30PM (eastern) M/W

Price: $400 US


 his course is a survey of the sacred history of the Old Testament from the Holy Prophets to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of the course is a) to help catechists understand how the Church approaches sacred history and b) to introduce catechists to pedagogical
approaches to sacred history.

What is sacred history? It is the mystery of God’s providence, judgment, and love guiding the course of history while preserving man’s free will inviolate. It is also the history of Adam’s fall and God’s economy to save him from death, corruption, and sin. Finally, sacred history is the account of the preparation (Old Testament) and the realization (New Testament) of the Word of God’s incarnation: His entry into history as the Son of God and the Son of Man.

First, we will survey the lives and teachings of the major and minor Holy Prophets. Special attention will be given to the prophecies relating to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, we will survey the fulfilment of these prophecies in Christ. We will draw from Patristic
commentary, hymnography, and liturgy.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able:

• To identify the deeds and teachings of the Holy Prophets of the sacred history of the Old Testament from Adam to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;
• To explain how the deeds and teachings of the holy Prophets proclaim the coming, mission, and identity of Christ; and
• To apply pedagogically the Church’s understanding of sacred history.

    Readings (to purchase)

    • Lexham. 2019. The Lexham English Septuagint. Bellingham: Lexham Press.
      • St. Maximus the Confessor. 2012. The Life of the Virgin Mary. Trans. by Stephen J. Shoemaker.
      New Haven: Yale University Press.
    • Taushev, Averky. 2015. The Four Gospels. Trans. by Nicholas Kotar. Jordanville: Holy Trinity Publications.
    • Thornton, James. 2010. Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy: Sermons on the Lives and Works of The Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament. Etna: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies.

    4.0 Assignments

    In addition to attending the weekly lectures, students will be assigned the following:
    • Readings. Each week there are assigned readings. Students are to prepare by completing the week’s readings before the week’s seminar. Each unit has a list of further readings (“see also”). These readings are optional. However, they may be cited in assignments.
    • Attendance of Lectures. Each week there will be two lectures. Lectures will be conducted via Zoom at the scheduled day/time. Attendance at lectures is essential. The purpose of the lecture is to provide an interpretation and synthesis of the week’s readings. It is the responsibility of each student to prepare for lecture by completing the readings.
    • Essay. A 1000-word unit essay on a topic or question provided by the instructor.

    Fr. Leonidas Pittos, Ph.D.

    Fr. Leonidas Pittos studied history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned a PhD in Byzantine History at the University of Chicago and is currently the Associate Chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages at Wayne State University, where he also holds a senior lectureship in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies since 2008. In 2021, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Metropolitan Demetrius of America. He is attached to St. Irene of Chrysovalantou Parish in Rochester Hills, MI, and also assists at St. John the Forerunner Parish Willow Springs, IL. Fr. Leonidas serves the director of the Catechist Formation Program of the St. John of Damascus Orthodox Educational Initiative.