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Antiochian House of Studies Grants PhD degree to Fr. Patrick O’Grady

5 June 2024

The Antiochian House of Studies (AHOS) proudly announces the successful defense and conferral of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree to Reverend Father Patrick O’Grady. The doctoral defense, held on 5 June 2024, marked the pinnacle of years of rigorous scholarship and dedicated research. This achievement was underscored by Fr. Patrick’s dissertation titled “The Transfiguration of Christ according to Blessed Augustine of Hippo,” under the esteemed guidance of Fr. Fadi Rabbat, AHOS Academic Dean.

Opening Remarks by Fr. Michel Najim

The event commenced with an address by Fr. Michel Najim, President of AHOS, who extended his gratitude to the esteemed members of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee. He acknowledged the committee’s critical role in guiding and evaluating the doctoral dissertation of Fr. Patrick O’Grady, emphasizing the honor it was for AHOS to host such a distinguished panel.

Dissertation Details and Supervisor Reports

Fr. Patrick’s dissertation, “The Transfiguration of Christ according to Blessed Augustine of Hippo,” explores the transfiguration of Christ within the context of Latin-speaking Western Church traditions, contrasting its prominence with that in the Eastern Church. The dissertation highlights how the transfiguration has been integrated into Western worship practices from the 2nd to the 5th century, with a particular focus on the works of early Church figures such as Tertullian, Hilary, and Leo the Great.

Fr. Fadi Rabbat, AHOS Academic Dean and supervisor of Fr. Patrick’s dissertation, praised the exceptional quality and depth of the research. He commended Fr. Patrick’s meticulous methodology, which combined linguistic analysis with historical and theological insights. Fr. Fadi emphasized the significance of Fr. Patrick’s contribution to the field, noting the innovative approach to examining the influence of Blessed Augustine of Hippo and the broader implications for understanding Western liturgical practices. Fr. Fadi’s guidance was instrumental in refining and shaping the dissertation, ensuring its scholarly rigor and impact.

Following Fr. Fadi’s report, Fr. Patrick O’Grady presented his defense, delving into the detailed findings of his study. His research demonstrated how Blessed Augustine’s interpretation of the Transfiguration offers profound insights into Latin theological thought. Fr. Patrick’s meticulous examination of primary texts, along with his analysis of secondary scholarship, provided a nuanced understanding of the theological and liturgical evolution of the Transfiguration in the Western Church. His original approach, especially the contrast between Latin and Greek terminologies, highlighted significant philosophical and theological implications, enriching the academic discourse on Blessed Augustine.

First Reader’s Evaluation by Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Prof. Jack Khalil

Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Prof. Jack Khalil, Dean of St. John of Damascus Institute at Balamand University and the first reader of the dissertation, commended Fr. Patrick’s unwavering dedication and intellectual rigor. Prof. Khalil praised the exceptional blend of creativity and scholarly precision in Fr. Patrick’s work, noting his thorough exploration of the transfiguration of Christ according to St. Augustine.

Second Reader’s Evaluation by Prof. Georgios Panagopoulos

Prof. Georgios Panagopoulos from the University of Athens and AHOS lauded Fr. Patrick’s dissertation as an excellent contribution to the study of Latin patristic theology. He acknowledged the dissertation’s depth and its significant advancements in understanding St. Augustine’s interpretation of the transfiguration, situating it within a broader historical and theological context.

Conferral of the Degree

Fr. Michel Najim officially conferred the PhD degree upon Fr. Patrick O’Grady, congratulating him on achieving this important academic milestone. He highlighted the respect and recognition AHOS commands both locally and internationally. Fr. Najim encouraged Fr. Patrick to utilize the knowledge and experiences gained at AHOS in his future endeavors, welcoming him into the prestigious Guild of Theological Scholars

The Antiochian House of Studies congratulates Fr. Patrick O’Grady on this remarkable achievement and wishes him continued success in his academic and theological endeavors. May his future contributions to the field be as impactful and distinguished as his work on this dissertation.

It is worth noting that this PhD is the third awarded by the Antiochian House of Studies, following Dr. Khouria Dalia Tinawi and Dr. Fr. Fadi Rabbat.

It is worth mentioning that the Antiochian House of Studies is a Theological School in the United States of America and has full accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools (www.ats.edu) to offer numerous master’s and doctoral degrees in theological Studies like a Doctorate in Orthodox TheologyMaster of Theological StudiesMaster of Pastoral Care and CounselingMaster of Divinity, and Many other Academic Programs.

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