Archimandrite Irenei is the Institute's Director, responsible for its development and foundation as well as its academic program. He is also the core lecturer in patristics and Church history.
Father Irenei is an established scholar of patristics and the early Church, and an Archimandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church. Formerly a fellow in patristics and early Church history at the University of Oxford and sometime Chair of Theology at Leeds Trinity University in the United Kingdom, he is an active speaker and lecturer around the world on Orthodox theology and practice, and has also been heavily involved in bringing patristic study into wider access through the internet. He is was recently visiting professor in Orthodox theology at Santa Clara University, Professorial Research Fellow of Leeds Trinity (UK), and is currently a member of the Committee for Education of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Dean of Monastic Life for the Western American Dicoese (ROCOR).
Professor Fr. Irenei’s scholarly work centres on patristic theology, especially anthropology (doctrines of the human person) in the Orthodox patristic tradition. He is particularly interested in the life and writings of the early period of the Church's life (AD 33-451), and the way that discussions on the human person inform the Church's articulation of Christological and Trinitarian dcotrine. His work is marked out by a strong emphasis on historical development and the way it may inform modern theological discussions. He has authored numerous books and published extensively on patristic and Orthodox topics (many of his works were published before his monastic tonsure and are found under his old name: Revd Prof. M.C. Steenberg).
He is widely known beyond academic circles through his work to bring Orthodox patristic and monastic study to a wider audience. He founded the Monachos.net web site on Orthodoxy through patristic and monastic study in 1999, which between 2000-2014 was the largest resource for such materials on the internet, containing one of the only forums on the world-wide-web dedicated to patristic and monastic discussions. In 2008 he began weekly internet radio broadcasts for Ancient Faith Radio, in a series called A Word From the Holy Fathers. These broadcasts, which focus each week on a patristic writing and its pastoral impact, are among the most listened-to podcasts on the station, and are being re-launched with a new series in 2015. Fr Irenei served as deacon of the Russian Orthodox Parish of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Oxford from 2007-2010, and in January 2010 moved to San Francisco. He was ordained hieromonk in March 2010 and elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in 2011. He serves in the parish of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk — one of the principal sites associated with the life of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.
Recent Books, Book Contributions & Scholarly Articles
- 'Traditions of Orthodox Monasticism', in the Atlas of Orthodox Monasteries of the USA (Assembly of Bishops Press, forthcoming 2016).
- 'On the Service of the Anathemas, or, more properly, The Rite of the Triumph of Orthodoxy', in Orthodox Word no. 298 (June 2015).
- '"One Thing Needful": The Significance of the Divine Liturgy in the Life of the Monastic Brotherhood' (originally delivered in Russian as "«Единое на потребу» Значеніе Божественной Литургіи въ жизни монашескаго братства"), Nativity Readings Conference, Moscow, January 2015 (forthcoming in print: 2016).
- 'Obedience, Experience, Transformation and the Confessor-Priest: A Dimension of the Legacy of St Symeon the New Theologian in Orthodox Pastoral Life', Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Patristic Studies, Sts. Cyril & Methodius Institute for Postgraduate Studies (Moscow: Forthcoming, 2016).
- 'Beauty Will Save the World', in Spiritual Spring 2.3 (2014).
- 'The Poverty of Christ that Makes Men Rich', in Spiritual Spring 1.3 (2014).
- The Beginnings of a Life of Prayer (St Herman's Press, 2013).
- St. Irenaeus of Lyons: Against the Heresies, Book 3 (Paulist Press: Ancient Christian Writers, 2012).
- ‘God’, in J. Bingham (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Early Christian Thought (New York: Routledge, 2009).
- Of God and Man: Theology as Anthropology from Irenaeus to Athanasius (T&T Clark, 2009).
- Irenaeus on Creation: The Cosmic Christ and the Saga of Redemption (Brill, 2008).
- A Century on Prayer, Orthodox Word no. 268 (2009).
- The Orthodox Study Bible: Septuagint Old Testament (California: Thomas Nelson Publishers, February 2008)—editor, translator, and chair of prophetical books translations.
- ‘The Church’, in M. Cunningham-Corran and E. Theokritoff (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Theology (Cambridge: The University Press, 2008).
- ‘An exegesis of conformity: textual subversion of subversive texts’, in K. Cooper and J. Gregory (eds.), Discipline and Diversity (Studies in Church History, vol. 43; Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2007).
- ‘Scripture, graphe, and the status of Hermas in Irenaeus’, St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 53.1 (2009) 29-66.
- ‘Taking Stock of our Struggle’, Orthodox Word 44.263 (2008).
- ‘Impatience and Humanity’s Sinful State in Tertullian of Carthage’, Vigiliae Christianae 62 (2008) 107-132.
- ‘Sinful nature as second nature in Tertullian of Carthage’, Studia Patristica (2010).
- ‘Two-natured man: an anthropology of transfiguration’, Pro Ecclesia 14.4 (2005) 413-432.
- ‘To test or preserve? The prohibition of Gen 2.16-17 in the thought of two second-century exegetes’ [Irenaeus and Theophilus], Gregorianum 86 (2005) 723-741.
- ‘Children in Paradise: Adam and Eve as “infants” in Irenaeus of Lyons’, Journal of Early Christian Studies
- ‘The role of Mary as co-recapitulator in St Irenaeus of Lyons’, Vigiliae Christianae 58.2 (2004) 117-137.
- ‘The Mother of God as mediatrix in Orthodox and Roman Catholic thought’, Sobornost, incorporating Eastern Churches Review, 26.1 (2004) 6-26.
- ‘Gnomic will and a challenge to the true humanity of Christ in Maximus Confessor’, Studia Patristica 42 (2006) 237-242.
- ‘Self and the Church: A review of E. Moore’s “Defining Orthodoxy: Is it Possible?”’, Theandros: An Online Journal of Orthodox Christian Theology and Philosophy <www.theandros.com> 1/1 (September 2003).
- ‘Rediscovering Old Testament Christianity’, Again 23.3 (2001) 4-11.
- A World Full of Arians
- Epinoia & Ennoia: The Cappadocian Fathers on essence/energy and the human knowledge of God
- Modelling the Trinity after the man: Human nature and the Trinity in the Cappadocian Epistle 38
- Athanasius of Alexandria: Sacrifice, Sanctification, Salvation
- Dionysius the Areopagite: Self-Surpassing Knowledge
- Gregory of Nyssa: Luminous Darkness
- Gregory Palamas: An Historical Overview
- Gregory Palamas: Knowledge, Prayer, and Vision
- Hesychios the Priest: On Watchfulness and Holiness
- John Klimakos: On Repentance that Leads to Joy
- Maximos the Confessor: On the Free Will of Christ
- Symeon the New Theologian: On the Divine Light
- Origen: the Final Restoration ... a Question of Heresy?
- Antony of Egypt: the Basics of His Spirituality
- A Gospel Motivation for the Monastic Life
- Ex Oriente Lux: John Cassian on Eastern Monasticism in the West
- The Advent of Love: Reflections on the Nativity of Christ (2004)
- 'He bowed the heavens and came down': The nativity of Christ (2003)
- On the Nativity Fast - Preparation of the Soul
- Not like other men: Reflections on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
- 'All to no purpose have I left my true home': Reflections on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son
- Sunday of the Last Judgement: Reflections on the fear of God
- At the threshold of the Fast: Reflections on the Sunday of Forgiveness
- 'Yea, the time has come': Holy Pascha and the mystery of the liturgical present (2004)
- The personal mystery of Pascha (2003)
- A brief word on celibacy
- She in whom salvation was begun: The Mother of God and the incarnation
- To see the cross universally: Images of the cross in the Old Testament
- Prayer as the act from which all good comes