The Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Dr Tracey Rowland (author of the new book Ratzinger’s Faith), has made the following announcement:
The Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of a new senior lecturer in Patristics, Rev Dr Adam Cooper. He is the author of two books and numerous scholarly essays on patristic and incarnational theology in such journals as First Things, Communio, and Vigiliae Christianae. His doctoral research, undertaken at the University of Durham (2002), was on deification in the Greek Fathers, issuing in the publication of his first book, The Body in St Maximus the Confessor: Holy Flesh, Wholly Deified (OUP, 2005). Adam’s second book, Life in the Flesh: An Anti-Gnostic Spiritual Philosophy (OUP, 2008), investigates the nature of bodily life in light of numerous contemporary issues, including biotechnology, sexuality, pornography, contraception, and abortion.
What the announcement doesn’t say is that Dr Cooper is a pastor of the Lutheran Church of Australia. This is the first time that a non-Catholic theologian has been appointed to a full time lectureship in international John Paul II Institute. It is an appointment of great ecumenical significance.
The President of the Lutheran Church of Australia (Victoria and Tasmania District) has announced that:
[Lutheran pastor, Rev. Dr.] Adam Cooper is accepting an offer of a three-year full-time senior lectureship at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne. He will be lecturing in bible, philosophy, early church history and moral theology. The JP II Institute comes under the oversight of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Adam will be seeking leave of absence for his term of service there. Adam will leave St John’s around the end of May.
Dr Cooper will take up his appointment at the beginning of June, 2008.
Sentire Cum Ecclesia wishes Adam all the very best for this new step along the journey.