Truth, Goodness, BEAUTY Will Save Us: 5th Annual Climacus Conference this February

By Fr. Patrick O'Rourke on December 11, 2014

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.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent. 12th century. Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent. 12th century. Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai.

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.” 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.

This year’s conference boasts eight lecturers. Among these is the founder of the Orthodox Arts Journal,  Andrew Gould. 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.” He will talk about sacred architecture and liturgical art.

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

Diskos and Asterix designed by Andrew Gould and crafted by Liza Nechamkin Glasser

Diskos and Asterisk designed by Andrew Gould and crafted by Liza Nechamkin Glasser

The other presenters, with the titles of their respective lectures are:

Fr. Jonathan Tobias –  “Hell overcome by Beauty: the implications of the primacy of Divine Beauty over Violence”, and “Theosis as Beautification: the profound human response to the memory and destiny of Divine Beauty”

Nicholas Samaras – “Poetry as Spiritual Pilgrimage into Beauty”, and later, a reading of his own poetry

Molly Sabourin – “Devotional Reflection”

Fr. Alexis Kouri – “Beauty and Being”

Erick Hedrick-Moser – “On the Fitting and the Beautiful: Retrieving Augustine’s Lost Treatise on Theological Aesthetics”

Sam Granger – “Beauty, Blessed Vision, and Orthodoxy with Thomas Aquinas”

Meredith Trexler  – “Aesthetic Experience and Becoming Good”


Please find all the relevant details at

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