Rev. Dr. Andrew Summerson
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto
81 St. Mary Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1J4
Rev. Dr. Andrew Summerson
Fr. Andrew Summerson joins the faculty of Theology as Assistant Professor of Greek Patristics and Eastern Christian Studies for the 2021-2022 school year. He holds a doctorate in Patristic Theology from the Pontifical Patristic Institute, “Augustinianum.” He is the author of Divine Scripture and Human Emotion in Maximus the Confessor (Brill 2021) and numerous articles. We are excited to have Fr Summerson join our community!
Pontifical Patristic Institute “Augustinianum” | Rome, Italy
- Doctorate in Patristic Theology (2018)
- Thesis: “Moral Psychology and Exegesis in Maximus the Confessor’s Quaestiones ad Thalassiium”
- Supervisor: John M. Rist; Readers: Carlo Dell’Osso, Juan Antonio Cabrera Montero
- Licentiate in Patristic Theology (2015)
Pontifical Gregorian University | Rome, Italy
- Bachelor of Theology (2013)
John Carroll University | University Heights, Ohio
- Bachelor of Arts: English Literature, Philosophy, and Catholic Studies (2019)
- American Academy of Religion
- Society of Biblical Literature
- North American Patristics Society
- Ancient: Greek, Latin, Old Slavonic
- Modern: Italian. French. German, Russian, Ukrainian
Scholarly and Professional Work
My primary research focuses on interpreting the principal works of Maximus the Confessor. A hinge figure in the Christian tradition, Maximus is both the synthesizer of the Greek patristic period and an architect for later Byzantine theology. My recent monograph, Divine Scripture and Human Emotion in Maximus the Confessor, examines Maximus apart from the history of dogma, as he is commonly understood. In the book, I offer a close reading of the Confessor’s second-largest work, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, and show how Maximus revises Stoic and Platonic-inspired monastic accounts of emotion according to biblical categories. I further examine Maximus’s views on human emotion in light of his soteriology. Christ redeems passibility so the divinized can enjoy perfected emotional activity in the ever-moving repose of eternal life.
My next book project now in development explores Maximus’s reception of Gregory Nazianzen’s theological legacy, found primarily in the Confessor’s largest work, Ambigua ad Iohannem, a series of reflections on difficult passages in Gregory’s orations and poetry. While 20th-century scholarship tends to diminish Gregory’s contribution among the Cappadocian Fathers, I demonstrate how Maximus incorporates Gregory’s theological grammar into his own work. This creative retrieval forms the basis for future theologizing in the Byzantine Christian world.
I am engaged in a few other avenues of research and publication. I am under contract with Catholic University of America Press to edit a volume entitled Eastern Catholic Theology in Action. This book brings together an international group of Eastern Catholic, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox scholars to offer a critical introduction to themes in Eastern Catholic theology. I am currently working on a proposal to translate Manlio Simonetti’s The Arian Crisis in the Fourth Century. The work will also include essays on developments in scholarship since its original publication. I also publish in the area of liturgy and Eastern Christian Studies more broadly.
- Divine Scripture and Human Emotion in Maximus the Confessor: Exegesis of the Human Heart, The Bible in Early Christianity Series 15. Leiden: Brill, 2021.
- (Joint editor with Cyril Kennedy) Eastern Catholic Theology in Action: Essays in Liturgy, Theology, and Ecumenism. Under contract with Catholic University of America Press, expected publication 2022.
Articles in academic journals
- “The Church on Parker’s Back: A Primer in Theologia Prima for the ‘Nones.’” Worship, forthcoming, 2022. (R)
- “Interpreting Human Experience: Body, Soul, and Apatheia in Maximus the Confessor.” Eastern Theological Journal 5, no. 2 (2019): 237-257. (R)
- “The Virgin of Guadalupe in Byzantine Vesture: An Analysis of the Byzantine Catholic Office for Our Lady of Guadalupe.” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, 60, no. 1-4 (2019): 131-147. (R)
- “Orientalium Ecclesiarum as Proof and Itinerary for the Hermeneutic of Reform.” Logos: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 57, no. 1-4 (2017): 135-144. (R)
Chapters in multi-author volumes
- “Jonah the Crowd Surfer: Becoming an Exegete of the Byzantine Tradition.” By Strange Ways: Theologians Explain their Conversion to Catholicism. Edited by Daniel Strudwick and Jonathan Fuqua. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, forthcoming 2022.
- “Christ: The Healer of Human Passibility in Quaestiones ad Thalassium.” The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought. Edited by A. Anna Usacheva, Jörg Ulrich, and Siam Bhayro, Leiden: Brill, 2021, 229-244.
- “Gregory Nazianzus’ Mixture Language in Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua: What the Confessor Learned from the Theologian.” Studia Patristica 95 (2017): 315-320.
- “Benjamin E. Heidgerken, Salvation through Temptation: Maximus the Confessor and Thomas Aquinas on Christ’s Victory over the Devil. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2021.” The Thomist, invited review, forthcoming 2022.
- “Luke Steven. Imitation, Knowledge and the Task of Christology in Maximus the Confessor. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2020.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, invited review, forthcoming 2022.
- “Khaled Anatolios. Deification through the Cross: an Eastern Christian Theology of Salvation. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2020.” Nova et Vetera, invited review, forthcoming 2022.
- “Maximus the Confessor: On the Ecclesiastical Mystagogy. Translated by Jonathan J. Armstrong. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2019.” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, invited review, forthcoming 2021.
- “Andrew Radde-Gallwitz. Gregory of Nyssa’s Doctrinal Works: A Literary Study. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.” Review of Biblical Literature 4 (2020).
- “Brian E. Daley, S.J. God Visible: Patristic Christology Reconsidered. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 60, no. 1-4 (2019): 255-258.
- “Gary A. Anderson. Christian Doctrine and the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017.” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, 59, no. 1-4 (2018): 313-315.
- “Federico Marti. I ruteni negli stati uniti: santa sede e mobilità umana tra ottocento e novecento. Pontificia università della santa croce monografie giuridiche 36. Milan, Italy: Giuffré editore, 2009.” Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 59, no. 1-4 (2018): 316-318.
Translations from Italian:
- Basilio Petrà, “The Two Forms of the Catholic Presbyterate, Celibate and Married: Towards a Catholic Theology of the Pastoral Vocation” in Eastern Catholic Theology in Action: Essays in Liturgy, Theology, and Ecumenism. Edited by Andrew Summerson and Cyril Kennedy. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming 2022.
- Stefano Parenti, “Orientalium Ecclesiarum 6: Recovery of Ancestral Traditions: Historical Problems and Ways Forward” in Eastern Catholic Theology in Action: Essays in Liturgy, Theology, and Ecumenism. Edited by Andrew Summerson and Cyril Kennedy. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming 2022.
- Cyril Vasil S.J., “Separation, Divorce, Dissolution of the Bond and Remarriage: Theological and Practical Approaches of the Orthodox Churches” in Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church. Edited by Robert Dodaro, OSA. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2014, 93-127.
Articles in Magazines, Newspapers, Radio, and Pastoral Publications:
- “St. Joseph is a prophet in the Byzantine tradition. What can we learn from their devotion?” America Magazine, March 19, 2021.
- “Coronavirus Quarantine Prepares us for Pentecost” National Catholic Register, May 30, 2020.
- “Our Lady of Guadalupe is a feast for Byzantine Catholics, too” Catholic News Service, December 12, 2017.
- “Byzantine Catholics Prepare for Christmas with 40-day Fast” Catholic News Service, December 3, 2016.
- “Apokatastasis: On the Salvation of a Punk Rock Princess” Homiletic and Pastoral Review, December 15, 2014.
Invited lectures in external academic contexts.
- “Maximus the Confessor and the Christological Controversies” presented at University of St. Mary on the Lake, Mundelein, IL, November 13, 2020.
- “Exegesis of the Human Heart: Maximus the Confessor and the Emotional Life of Christians” presented at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in the University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, February 11, 2020.
- “Augustine and Maximus the Confessor on the Emotional Life of Christians” presented at The Institute of Catholic Studies’ Annual Augustine Lecture at John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH, February 28, 2019.
- “The Psalms and the Training of the Emotions: Reading Athanasius and Singing with the Carpatho-Rus” presented at The Eleanor Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar, Notre Dame College, Cleveland, OH, October 14-15, 2016.
Papers presented at scholarly meetings and symposia
- “The Psalms as the Grammar of the Spiritual Life: Notes from the Fathers and The Byzantine Liturgy” presented at Orientale Lumen XXV Conference, Washington D.C., June 22-23, 2021. (Zoom presentation)
- “Maximus the Confessor as Interpreter of Gregory the Theologian: ‘Performing the Pascha of the Mind’” presented at North American Patristics Society, Chicago, IL, May 27-29, 2021. (Zoom presentation)
- “Maximus the Confessor as Interpreter of Gregory the Theologian: How to do Patristic Theology” presented at New Horizons in Early Christian Studies Conference, University of Toronto, March 26-27, 2021. (Zoom presentation)
- “Christ as Jonah’s Sea Monster: Creative Typology in Byzantine Hymnography” presented at Midwest Regional Meeting Society of Biblical Literature, St. Mary’s College, South Bend, IN, February 7-9, 2020.
- “The Church on Parker’s Back: Flannery O’Connor, The Byzantine Liturgy, and Theologia Prima” presented at 3rd Annual Catholic Imagination Conference, Loyola University of Chicago, September 19-21, 2019.
- “Christ: The Snake Charmer of Human Passibility in Quaestiones ad Thalassium” presented at 18th International Conference on Patristic Studies, University of Oxford, August 19-24, 2019.
- “The Emotions as God’s Vernacular: Moral Psychology and Exegesis in Quaestiones ad Thalassium” presented at North American Patristics Society, Chicago, IL, May 25-27, 2017.
- “The Virgin of Guadalupe in Byzantine Vesture: The Byzantine Office for Our Lady of Guadalupe” presented at Byzantine Perspectives on the Theotokos, Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh, PA, May 15-16, 2017.
- “Mixture Christology in Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua” presented at 17th International Conference on Patristic Studies, University of Oxford, August 10-14, 2015.
- “Orientalium Ecclesiarum as Proof and Itinerary for the Hermeneutic of Reform” presented at The Vatican II Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches—Orientalium Ecclesiarum: 50 Years Later, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, October 17-18, 2014.
- “The Philosopher as Martyr: Submission and Death in Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being” presented at Annual Conference on Christian Philosophy: Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, OH, April 23-24, 2010.
- “Dionysius the Areopagite and Maximus the Confessor: Priest as Mystagogue” presented at Making Friends with the Fathers: Patristic Texts on Pastoral Ministry. A Lenten Online Course for Clergy, March 26, 2021. (Zoom presentation)
Teaching & Supervisory Activity
Undergraduate/Basic Degree courses taught
Calumet College of St. Joseph | Whiting, Indiana (2019-2020)
- THEO 230: Search for Ultimate Meaning • Upper-level undergraduate seminar in Spirituality (3 sections)
- THEO 110: Social Justice • Introductory undergraduate course in Catholic Social Teaching (3 sections)
- THEO 151 Biblical Literature II • Introductory undergraduate course in New Testament (1 section)
- PHIL 200 Great Philosophical Ideas • Introductory undergraduate course in Philosophy (1 section)
John Carroll University | University Heights, Ohio (2016)
- TRS 299 The Worlds of Eastern Catholicism • Upper-level undergraduate course (1 section)
- TRS 339 Eastern Christianity • Upper-level undergraduate course (1 section)
- Graduate/Advanced Degree courses taught
St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology | Wickliffe, Ohio (2016)
- HIS 810/910 Patristic Exegesis and the Grammar of the Spiritual Life • Self-designed graduate and doctor of ministry seminar in Patristic Theology (1 section)
Positions held and service on committees and organizations outside TST or University of Toronto, of scholarly and academic significance
- Organizer, “Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses: A Summer Graduate Seminar on the Foundations of Christian Theology with Fr. John Behr and Lewis Ayres.” Sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute at St. Meinrad Archabbey and Seminary, July 11-16, 2021.
- Organizer, “Making Friends with the Fathers: Patristic Texts on Pastoral Ministry” Lenten Online Course for Clergy, The Godbearer Institute and the Sheptytsky Institute, February-March, 2021.
- Intern Chaplain, Extended Unit CPE, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, January-May 2021.
- Organizer, “Eastern Catholic Theology in Action” Lumen Christi Institute Webinar Series, September-November, 2020.
- Organizer, “Having Beheld the Resurrection of Christ” The Godbearer Institute Webinar Series, April-May, 2020.
- Organizer, “An Online School of Prayer” The Godbearer Institute Webinar Series, February-April, 2020.
- Organizer, “Life in Christ Conference: A Pastoral Theology Workshop for Clergy,” hosted by the Intereparchial Vocations Commission, Parma, Ohio, June 19-20, 2019.
- Intereparchial Liturgical Commission, Byzantine Ruthenian Metropolia of Pittsburgh 2019-current.
- Intereparchial Ecumenical Commission of the Byzantine Ruthenian Metropolia of Pittsburgh, 2018-current.
- Committee Member and Organizer, “Eleanor Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar” Notre Dame College of Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio 2015-2017.