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Archon Aristotle Papanikolaou Named University of Chicago Divinity School Alum of the Year 2024

Aristotle Papanikolaou

Archon Aristotle “Telly” Papanikolaou has been named the University of Chicago Divinity School Alum of the Year for 2024. This honor is being conferred upon recommendation from the University of Chicago Divinity School’s Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union. Archon Papanikolaou will deliver his Alum of the Year address at the Divinity School on May 24, 2024.

Archon Papanikolaou is Professor of Theology at Fordham University, where he holds the inaugural Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture. He is also the co-founding director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, located at Fordham. He is also McDonald Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

A leading scholar in the field of contemporary (nineteenth and twentieth centuries) Orthodox theology, Archon Papanikolaou is the author of two important monographs: Being with God: Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine-Human Communion (Notre Dame University Press, 2006; 2012) and The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame University Press, 2012). Among his numerous and far-ranging scholarly publications, some of which have been translated into multiple languages, he is co-editor of ten volumes, including Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine (Fordham University Press, 2017), which was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in Theology.

Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D., National Commander of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, stated: “This is a richly deserved honor. Ever since Archon Telly received his doctorate from the University of Chicago, he has distinguished himself both for his groundbreaking scholarship and his dedicated service to God’s holy Church, in particular to our Mother Church of Constantinople. An exemplary scholar and an equally exemplary Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archon Telly would be the most worthy recipient of the Alum of the Year award not just this year, but every year. Axios!”

“Professor Papanikolaou’s remarkable achievements have extended far beyond his formidable scholarship,” said James Theodore Robinson, Dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School. “Through his work, including the founding and growing of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center into a major venue for learning, Professor Papanikolaou has been instrumental in creating pathways of scholarship that will extend far into the future.”

Prof. Papanikolaou will deliver his Alum of the Year address, “Incarnational Pluralism: Ecclesial and Political Manifestations” on May 24, 2024, at 4:30pm in the Divinity School’s Swift Lecture Hall. An alumni reunion dinner reception will follow at 6:00pm in the Swift Hall Common Room.

Archon Papanikolaou has served for many years as protopsalti and Sunday School teacher at both Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Andover, Massachusetts, and in the church of the same name in Chicago. He has been a member of the Youth Commission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, a Board Member of Pappas Patristic Institute, and a member of the Social and Moral Issues Commission of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). Together with Archon George Demacopoulos, he coordinated the award by Fordham University of its highest honor, the Honorary Doctorate of Laws, to His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in 2009. He also contributed to the recent document of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, For the Life of the World: The Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church.

Archon Papanikolaou earned his BA from Fordham University (1988), his MDiv from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (1991), and his PhD from the University of Chicago (1998). Prof. Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou was invested as Archon in 2010 and conferred with the offikion Prostatis ton Grammaton.

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