St. Ivan Rilski, London

Bulgarian Orthodox Church

St. Ivan Rilski



Orthodox Church of St John of Rila, the Miracle-Worker

London, United Kingdom


2014 – 2015 Academic Year


Course: Foundations of Orthodoxy


Course topics


1. Orthodoxy – rightly (orthos) worshipping (doxa) God.

a) What does it mean to rightly glorify God?

b) Origins and development of Orthodoxy.

c) Orthodoxy today: its firm maintenance of right worship and life.


2. The ancient catechumen. Necessity of catechisation.

a) Origins of the catechumen.

b) Development of the catechetical teaching.

c) Catechisation today.


3. Christian Catechesis: history, development and establishment.

a) Origins of the Christian Catechesis.

b) History and development of the Catechesis.

c) The establishment of the contemporary Orthodox Catechesis.


4. Our Faith: the Symbol of Faith.

a) Necessity of formulations of our faith.

b) Origins of the Nicea-Constantinopol’s Creed.

c) Content and meaning of the Nicea-Constantinopol’s Creed.


5. Exegesis of the Creed (part 1).

a) Dogmas and teachings about God the Father and God the Son (articles 1 to 7 of the Creed).

b) Dogmas and teachings about God the Holy Spirit (article 8 of the Creed).


6. Exegesis of the Creed (part 2).

a) Dogmas and teachings about the Church (articles 9 to 12 of the Creed).

b) Orthodox Eschatology.


7. Our Hope: the prayer “Our Father”.

a) What is the Christian prayer.

b) The seven petitions of the prayer “Our Father”.

c) The glorification: essence and goal. The glorification of the prayer “Our Father”.


8. Our Hope: the Blessings of the Evangelion.

a) Content and meaning of the Blessings.

b) Exegesis of the Blessings.


9. Our Love: God’s Ten Commandments and Christ’s Teaching.

a) Faith and Love.

b) Faith and Works.

c) Content and meaning of the Ten Commandments.


10. Our Love: exegesis of the Ten Commandments.

a) Our obligations to God (Commandments 1 to 4).

b) Our obligations to our neighbour (Commandments 5 to 10).


11. Orthodox prayer.

a) Essence of the Christian prayer. Orthodox prayer.

b) Structural elements of the Orthodox prayers.

c) Knowing and saying your prayers.


12. The Orthodox temple.

a) Origins and development of the Orthodox temple.

b) General view and decoration of the Orthodox church. Orthodox service books.

c) Orthodox iconography and frescos.


13. Orthodox services and Orthodox hymnography.

a) Origins of worshiping God.

b) Types of services and their structure. The Orthodox liturgy.

c) Orthodox hymnography: essence and development. Examples of Orthodox chanting.


14. Statute and governance of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC).

a) What is a Church’s Statute?

b) Content of the BOC’s Statute.

c) Importance of the Church’s Statute for the Church hierarchy and the lay people.


15. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the other Orthodox churches.

a) Short history of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

b) BOC and the other Orthodox Churches.

c) BOC and the other Christian churches and the other religions.


Course Dates for the Academic Year 2014 - 2015

1. 07.12.2014
2. 14.12.2014
3. 18.01.2015
4. 25.01.2015
5. 01.02.2015
6. 15.02.2015
7. 01.03.2015
8. 15.03.2015
9. 22.03.2015
10. 05.04.2015*
11. 03.05.2015
12. 17.05.2015
13. 31.05.2015
14. 14.06.2015
15. 28.06.2015

* The Feast of Christ’s Resurrection – on 12 April 2015.


Lecturer: Dr Valentin Kozhuharov

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