“Beauty Will Save Us”: Fifth Annual Climacus Conference this February in Louisville

By Fr. Patrick O'Rourke on January 1, 2014

Note – The conference organizers have just announced that the conference will be postponed for one year. It will be held February 12-14, 2015.


The Climacus Conference is a clas­sical Chris­tian intel­lectual/spiri­tual event feat­uring scho­lars and voices across the fields of Theo­logy, Philo­sophy, Clas­sical Educa­tion, Litera­ture, and Hist­ory/Poli­tics. It is unique in that it prov­ides an oppor­tunity for atten­dees to be enriched by think­ing well across disci­plines.

In it’s fifth annual installment, the Climacus Conference will continue in its endeavor to “deve­lop the life of the mind through scholarly enga­gement with the clas­sic liberal arts,” approaching this by means of the Greek Patristic understanding of the nous, the mind of the heart, enab­ling our asce­nsion “of the lad­der” (κλίμακος/climacus), as insp­ired by St. John Clim­acus and his Lad­der of Div­ine Asc­ent. This year, the theme of the conference is beauty – namely in how we define it, the aesthetics of beautiful things, and the practice of that aesthetic, the “redemptive and salvific role of beauty in our lives.”

This year’s conference boasts nine lecturers giving sixteen lectures. Among these is the founder of the Orthodox Arts Journal,  Andrew Gould. The conference in very reasonably priced and should be of great interest to anyone interested in beauty, beautiful things, and the effects of beauty on our lives. Andrew will be speaking from his experience as an architect and liturgical artist whose designs “marry medieval Orthodox architecture with sympathetic influences from American building traditions.”

Andrew Gould’s rendering of his plan for St. John of the Ladder Orthodox Church, Greenville, SC.


Please find all the relevant details at http://www.climacusconference.org.

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  1. Sister Esther on January 1, 2014 at 10:27 am

    As I live in the U.K. I am unable to come to this conference but would like to know if you are going to put the actual conferences on some web-site – or send them to the British Association of Iconographers for publication in their Review. Thank you and look forward to your reply
    Sister Esther

  2. nancy on January 1, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I love the concept behind the Climacus Conference, but I have a gentle suggestion. Since its origins, the administrators have tried to cram too much into the two day/two and a half day conference. Designers of conferences would suggest that the content be trimmed. It’s nice to have “big names” and prominent scholars present, but participants cannot possibly attend all the sessions. One or two major speakers in plenary sessions would make it easier for those who attend the conference to hear these speakers. The program is possibly too ambitious for this kind of gathering. Think about structure.

  3. Andrew Gill on January 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Will you have the conference recorded? I will also not be able to attend due to planned events; however, I would like to purchase a recording?

  4. Andrew Gould on January 3, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Note – The conference organizers have just announced that the conference will be postponed for one year. It will be held February 12-14, 2015.

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