Installation of Dr. James L. Papandrea
On Thursday, September 20, 2018, Dr. James L. Papandrea, professor of church history and historical theology at Garett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will be installed as a full professor at 11:10 a.m. in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful. All are invited to this service celebrating the accomplishments of Papandrea.
Lecture: "Common Ground: The Historical Foundation of Ecumenism and Ecumenical Dialogue"
Words like catholic and ecumenical once described the worldwide Body of Christ, the Church. Historically, the Church defined itself through the first three ecumenical councils, which were all held and confirmed in the fourth and fifth centuries - before the first permanent schisms. Today, Christians of all traditions can use the conclusions of these first three world-wide councils as our common definition of the faith and the Church, to affirm our common tradition even as we discuss our differences, and as a basis from which to work for unity, and for the mission of the gospel in the world. Dr. Papandrea will talk about his vision for ecumenism and ecumenical work in light of his chosen field of Church history and historical theology, as well as highlight some of the challenges to ecumenism in the twenty-first century.
About Dr. James L. Papandrea
Dr. James L. Papandrea is professor of church history and historical theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He joined the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical in the fall of 2008. His research interests have included historical and dogmatic theology, the connection between contemporary/practical theology and historical theology, the development of doctrine in the early and medieval Church, and Johannine literature and its reception throughout the history of the Church.
A prolific author, Papandrea has written over a dozen books and numerous articles. His writings span from traditional academic works for scholars, pastors, and seminary students to academically informed books that examine Christianity and pop culture in a way that is accessible to anyone. Papandrea’s most recent books are From Star Wars to Superman: Christ Figures in Science Fiction and Superhero Films (Sofia Institute Press, 2017) and The Earliest Christologies: Five Images of Christ in the Postapostolic Age (IVP Academic, 2016). In addition to teaching at Garrett-Evangelical, as well as being a regular speaker in parish and lay formation programs, he is also a published songwriter and professional musician.
In April 2018, Papandrea was named a Springtime Ambassador by the Springtime of Faith Foundation at the foundation’s annual Unity conference for his work in ecumenism, especially in his teaching and leading tours in Rome. The Springtime of Faith Foundation is an ecumenical organization that encourages and facilitates relationships and dialogue across church and denominational boundaries. In his acceptance speech, Papandrea said, “My life’s journey has been a crooked path, but we can’t regret the journey–it makes us who we are. And one by-product of my journey is that it has made me bi-lingual, able to speak both Catholic and Protestant. And some of the greatest joys of my career have been those times when I’ve been asked to be a translator between the two, participating in the building of bridges.”
Papandrea has a bachelor arts from the University of Minnesota, a master of divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy from the Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University joint PhD program. He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the North American Patristics Society, and the Catholic Association of Music. When he’s not teaching or performing music, he is usually traveling, taking photographs and making pilgrimages to places like Rome and Assisi.