Symposium on St. Severus of Antioch (♰AD 538) – February 2021

The teachings of the wise and great Severus are a likeness of all the right doctors and mystic instructors of the Church: for in him one may see of Ignatius the God-clad and the tried martyr the holy and God-inspired words; of Athanasius the illustrious champion and combatant the extended and exact knowledge of the faith; of Basil and Gregory the sublime preaching of theology; and of John the admonitory instruction which pours itself forth and expands like the sea; of Cyril the exactitude of teaching concerning dogmas; of all together the purity of life and of virtuous conduct.

♰ Mor Paul of Edessa

In honour of his feast day which falls on February 8th of each year in the Syriac Orthodox Liturgical Calendar, Urho The Way is pleased to announce that we will be holding a virtual symposium on the life and works of Patriarch St. Severus the Great of Antioch ♰ 538. A number of distinguished scholars have been invited for this program and their lectures will be broadcasted on our Facebook and YouTube channels. Stay tuned to this webpage and our Facebook page for further updates.

Inaugural Message

H.E. Mor Dionysius John Kawak is the Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the Eastern United States. In 1993, His Eminence graduated with honors from the Pontifical Oriental Institute with a Masters in Eastern and Oriental Liturgics. He completed his Master’s thesis in Italian on The Holy Virgin Mary in the Book of the Common Prayer (Shhimo) of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Dionysius will share an inaugural message followed by a pastoral blessing to open the virtual symposium.

Our Distinguished Lecturers

Fr. Peter Farrington is a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church, serving in the Diocese of the Midlands in the UK. He became a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in 1994, and was ordained a Coptic Orthodox priest in 2009. He was brought up in a committed Evangelical household, and served as a youth in an Evangelical congregation. After three years of full-time study in preparation for ministry as a pastor and missionary, he had discovered the Orthodox spiritual Tradition and his life took a different direction. For over 15 years he has published his own writings, and republished important works of interest to the Oriental Orthodox communion. He writes about the Orthodox spiritual life and theology, and his blog is at where he has made available various translations of the works of St. Severus, including the Cathedral Homilies.

Fr. Dr. Jacob Joseph is a priest of the Syriac Orthodox Church and researcher whose interest focuses on Patristic, Liturgical, Missional, Contextual Theology, Syriac theology and Indian theology. In 2020, Fr. Jacob received his Ph.D. from the University of Divinity, Melbourne, for a thesis entitled “The Christ Who Embraces: An Orthodox Theology of Margins in India” focusing on the Christology of St. Severus. He is an Associate Professor of Christian Mission at Holy Transfiguration College, Agora University and a lecturer at St. Athanasius College, University of Divinity Melbourne, teaching a course on Orthodox Mission Contextual Theology and History. Fr. Jacob is also a visiting lecturer of Ecumenical and Mission Theology at Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary (MSOT), Ernakulam, India. In addition to his research work and teaching roles, Fr. Jacob currently serves as vicar of St. Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Melbourne, the National Youth Director, and the Sunday School Curriculum Chairperson of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Australia.

H.E. Mor Aphrem Mathews is the Metropolitan of Perumbavur Region of Angamali Diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church. He is a graduate of Serampore University with a MTh in Systematic theology. Mor Aphrem served as faculty member of Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary and would later pursue higher studies in the US, but was called back to India for Metropolitan consecration. During his tenure, he has implemented many projects for the study of the Syriac language and liturgical rites including establishing the Mor Aphrem Syriac Music Institute (MASMI). He takes specific interest in the study of the Syriac Orthodox liturgico-hymnal tradition.

On Saturday February 20th 2021 HG Mor Aphrem Mathews will be giving a lecture on the ‘Ma’nitho of St. Severus’ that is recited during every Holy Qurbono and at the canonical 6th hour of the Sh’himo.

Dr. Youhanna Youssef is a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church and a researcher with decades of experience in Coptic studies. In 1993 he earned a Doctorate from Montpellier University in France, based on his research regarding Julius of Akfahs. He is an Associate Professor and Honorary Research Associate at St. Athanasius College, University of Divinity Melbourne and Senior Lecturer at Department of Eastern Christian Studies at Sankt Ignatios Theological Seminary, University College, Stockholm. His areas of interest include Patristics, Hagiography, Dogmatic Theology, and Christian-Arabic Studies. He is a prolific writer who has authored a number of publications including a monumental study on Mor Severios entitled, The Life and Works of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic Tradition. Texts and Commentaries.

Episcopal Message

H.E. Mor Themotheos Thomas is the Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Secretary to the regional Holy Episcopal Synod. Following his BTh at United Theological College, he completed seminary education at Manjanikkara Dayro. Mor Themotheos then joined Erlangen-Nuremberg University in Germany, and would continue at Goettingen University to pursue Syriac patristic studies, following which he returned to India after being selected for Metropolitan consecration. He has been actively involved in ecumenical dialogue including the Vienna Pro-Orient meetings.

On Saturday February 27th 2021, H.E Mor Themotheos Thomas will be giving Episcopal message for this month’s virtual symposium.

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