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Preaching the Kingdom. Teaching Christ.
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Join ACTS in welcoming Dr. Stephen Meawad!

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ACTS is pleased to announce that Dr. Stephen Meawad will be joining our team this Summer 2019. Stephen M. Meawad is currently adjunct professor of Catholic Studies at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. He completed his Ph.D. in Theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA with a dissertation entitled “Spiritual Struggle and Gregory of Nyssa’s Theory of Perpetual Ascent: An Orthodox Christian Virtue Ethic.” His continued research interests incorporate Orthodox Christianity, Coptic practices, and modern western ethical, theological, and philosophical discourses. He currently resides in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

Dr. Meawad will be bringing us an enriching course on Coptic Ethics. Course Description: Western ethical systems have developed into complex tapestries, impacting the religious, political, cultural, and moral landscape in which they flourish. While ethical language has had an impact in the West that cannot be understated, Eastern religions have seemed to speak an entirely different language regarding morality. This class is an investigation of the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East—the Coptic Orthodox Christians of Egypt—to understand why the language of ethics has been entirely absent among ancient and contemporary Copts alike. A shift away from deontological, consequentialist, and quandary ethics and towards virtue ethics is one step in the direction towards developing a Coptic Christian ethic, but not without its mitigations. The acquisition of virtue for Coptic Christians is a result of a primary ethic of the pursuit of unity with God through grace-enabled spiritual struggle. This model will be dissected into three basic tiers based on Gregory of Nyssa’s theory of epektasis and will help make sense of a number of contemporary Coptic Christian practices of transformation, including a liturgical ethos, fasting, asceticism, monasticism, hagiography, and martyrdom. 

Jessica Shalaby