This seminar will be a close reading of Origen’s On First Principles, supplemented by various other texts from his corpus. One of the first systematic presentations of the Christian faith, On First Principles, written c. 220, is also a complex text to engage. While we possess some Greek fragments, the whole survives only in a much later Latin translation. At the same time, it is essential to see how the positions that Origen puts forth in this work relate to those we find developed in his biblical exegesis. Accordingly, we will examine texts from the On First Principles in parallel with selections from his Commentary on JohnAgainst Celsus, and his various Old Testament commentaries.

Presented by the Lumen Christi Institute and the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto. Cosponsored by the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.



  • The seminar sessions will be held at Windle House, hosted by the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, at the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto.

  • Meals and lodging will be provided.

  • Participants will receive a stipend of up to $350 to offset travel expenses.

  • Participants will arrive at on Sunday, July 9 and depart on Saturday, July 16.

  • Participants will be provided with a copy of On First Principles (Oxford University Press, 2020) and will be expected to read it in preparation for the seminar.

  • Fifteen applicants will be admitted to the seminar.



This seminar is open to PhD students in theology, philosophy, classics, and other relevant fields of study. Working knowledge of relevant ancient languages will be helpful, but not essential.

  • A completed online application form.

  • An updated CV.

  • At least one and no more than two letter(s) of recommendation.

  • A statement of research interest no longer than 750 words, which includes an explanation of how this seminar might bear on the student’s current or future research plans.

  • One academic writing sample (30 pages maximum).

  • All application materials can be submitted via the online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered


Contact us with any questions.