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Dr. Murzaku's New Book
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Monastic Tradition in Eastern Christianity and the Outside WorldMonastic Tradition in Eastern Christianity and the Outside World: A Call for Dialogue, edited by Dr. Ines Angeli Murzaku, Professor and Chair of the Department of Catholic Studies. This volume's focus is threefold, thus corresponding to its tri-partite topical division: to analyze Eastern monasticism's unique place in the life-transforming journey to theosis; Eastern monasticism's hospitality and mutual encounters with culture; and Eastern and Western monasticism's hospitality to Christian and non-Christian religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam - even though Islam does not have any monastic institution, its adherents have been historically in dialogue with Christian monastics and have the potential to achieve a spiritual affinity with monks of other religious traditions. The three parts of the volume share one unifying argument, monasticism's special call to spiritually symbiotic relationship or its impact on the very socio-politic-historic structures of society. The topics are explored from historical, theological, and literary standpoints. The volume's overall intention is to help make monastic ecumenical engagement or its potential for inter-faith dialogue better known, appreciated, and relevant within inter-religious dialogue. Dr. Murzaku’s volume is part of the prestigious Eastern Christian Studies Series of the Institute of Eastern Christian Studies Nijmegen, the Netherlands published by Peeters, University of Leuven, Belgium.

The ten scholars' articles approach the topic from historical, theological and literary standpoints. Several of the authors are from Seton Hall University, including Dr. Ines Angeli Murzaku, Msgr. John A. Radano, Dr. Gregory Glazov, and Dr. Dermot Quinn. To learn more about the book, visit here»

Dr. Murzaku's research focuses on Ecclesiastical History, and particular, Byzantine and Catholic Church History. She has been awarded several grants for her work, including the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers - Germany, the Dumbarton Oaks Research Grant – Harvard University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant (SSHRC) - Canada, and has been awarded three times Fulbright Research Scholar Grants. Her other publications include Returning Home to Rome? The Monks of Grottaferrata in Albania, Analekta Kryptoferris Monastic Series 7 (2009); Quo Vadis Eastern Europe? Religion, State and Society after Communism, Balkan and East-European Studies Series 30 (2009), and Catholicism, Culture and Conversion: The History of the Jesuits in Albania (1841-1946), published by Orientalia Christiana Analecta Series (2006). Currently, Dr. Murzaku is co-authoring a translation and critical edition of the Life of St. Neilos of Rossano (1004) for Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University (20014). Also, she is writing two books: Monasticism in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Former Soviet Republics for Routledge (2014) and Italo-Greek Monasticism, from St. Neilos to Bessarion for Ashgate (2015). Dr. Murzaku was the vice-president of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) (2007-2013) and a United Nations (NGO) Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe accredited representative.

Monastic Tradition in Eastern Christianity and the Outside World reflects the Department of Catholic Studies’ goal of spreading ecumenism. Through its lecture series, the Department of Catholic Studies promotes awareness about Catholic Church history and theology as well as its relations with other religions. Through its Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue Lecture Series, in particular, the Department of Catholic Studies is taking an active role in promoting discussion among different faiths. The Department of Catholic Studies’ next event focuses on the Catholic and Baptist Dialogue.

About the Department of Catholic Studies
Established in 2012 — the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II — the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University, America’s oldest diocesan university, fosters Seton Hall’s Catholic identity and mission by exploring the relationship of Catholicism with all areas of culture and learning. Since its focus is the Church’s encounter and dialogue with society, or the Church in the world, Vatican II designated a special place for Catholic Studies as a discipline in academic life. As a result, Catholic Studies is a dialogue between Catholicism and culture that occurs in a special way at Catholic universities. While respecting other disciplines, Catholic Studies explores theology and philosophy in relation to culture, humankind and the world. This methodological approach opens up a place for all other disciplines; these enrich Catholic Studies and are enriched in return. Catholic Studies builds upon and develops the themes and questions addressed in the University Core Curriculum and is complementary to other disciplines. A bachelor’s degree in Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts degree — a major that enhances every other major. 

Seton Hall is the first university in the eastern United States to create a Department of Catholic Studies. In December 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, imparted the Apostolic Blessing to Seton Hall University on the occasion of the establishment of the Department of Catholic Studies. This makes Seton Hall the first and only university in the United States to claim such a rare honor.

For more information please contact:
Brittany Venturella
(973) 275-2175


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