The Climacus Conference is a classical Christian intellectual/spiritual event. See website for longer description. The Climacus Conference 2014 will seek to defend beauty.
Thus, we will first attempt to define beauty, particularly on philosophical grounds. After all, we discern beauty in physical objects and abstract ideas, in nature and art, in animals and things, and in people, qualities, and actions. What is this property of beauty present in all of these things? What is the status of beauty as an ultimate value? Next we will consider the aesthetics of some particular beautiful things—such as church buildings, poems, icons, paintings, and music. Thirdly, we will consider some of the intellectual disciplines—philosophy, theology, literature, et al.—and their interaction with aesthetics. Finally, we will consider the practice of aesthetics—the redemptive and salvific role of beauty in our lives.
Mission: The Climacus Conference is an Orthodox Christian intellectual/spiritual event featuring scholars and voices across the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Classical Education, Literature, and History/Politics. It is unique in that it provides an opportunity for attendees to be enriched by thinking well across disciplines. It seeks to develop the life of the mind through scholarly engagement with the classic liberal arts, but approaches such an endeavor through the nous, the mind of the heart, enabling our ascension “of the ladder” (κλίμακος/climacus), as inspired by St. John Climacus and his Ladder of Divine Ascent. People from all backgrounds, perspectives, and traditions are welcome.
The 10th Anniversary Climacus Conference, Feb. 21-22, 2020. Check out the updated website for some new information! Plus, all past conferences now appear there!
[04/24/18] Mar. 1-2, 2019.
Now that I have recovered, thank you to everyone who traveled, spoke, shared, read, cried, contemplated, discovered, and ascended at the sixth biennial Climacus Conference 2017!
It was quite possibly the best Climacus Conference to date, with the highest level of attendance.
A special thank you to our speakers and to our vendors/organizations, Eighth Day Books, Ancient Faith Radio, Hexaemeron, etc., as well as to Jennifer Wright and the food preparation team (for the wonderful and creative cuisine), to our teens for managing so many little ones, and to my Assistant Director, Rachel Rubino.
Also, be sure to check out (5sees.com) spectacular film, Becoming Truly Human, which was so well received in our Friday night film screening, and which will be officially released in the coming weeks.
Note: all the Climacus Conference 2017 lectures will be posted on Ancient Faith Radio (ancientfaith.com) in the coming days.
Please stay in touch here. Post your ongoing thoughts and reflections as we move forward in grace, understanding, and transformation.
David M. Wright
Conference Founder and Director
[02/24/17] The jumpy is being set up as we speak! Bring your children to the conference and let them enjoy this beautiful weather!
Check out Fr. Stephen Freeman in the speaker spotlight! He's one of our Plenary Speakers... who is going to be MOST ILL! Can't wait to visit with you Father!
[02/13/17] Check out Molly Sabourin on the Speaker Spotlight! Really excited to see and hear my very good friend at the conference! She is a most awesome person (and speaker). :)
Enjoy the poetry of Dr. Richard Pierce published by Image Magazine.
Pray. Think. Deny. Ascend.
imagejournal.org In the ancient Greek, “liturgy” means “work done for the people.” Someone calls around 9:30, as he’s brushing his teeth for bed. An Orthodox in a nursing home has passed in McKeesport, and the priest is out of town. Up since five, he drives the hour north, prays for the soul, anoints the body. Earli...
blogs.ancientfaith.com “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my ... Read More →
Check out David Bradshaw in the speaker spotlight! http://www.climacusconference.org/speaker-spotlight.html.
David is a tremendous scholar and person; we are sooooo lucky he'll be speaking again, his third (or fourth) Climacus Conference!
climacusconference.org Artwork by Nathan A. Jacobs
"For every work [or act] of creation is threefold, an earthly trinity to match the heavenly.
First, [not in time, but merely in order of enumeration] there is the Creative Idea, passionless, timeless, beholding the whole work complete at once, the end in the beginning: and this is the image of the Father.
Second, there is the Creative Energy [or Activity] begotten of that idea, working in time from the beginning to the end, with sweat and passion, being incarnate in the bonds of matter: and this is the image of the Word.
Third, there is the Creative Power, the meaning of the work and its response in the lively soul: and this is the image of the indwelling Spirit.
And these three are one, each equally in itself the whole work, whereof none can exist without the other: and this is the image of the Trinity.
- The Mind of the Maker, pp. 37-38, Dorothy L. Sayers
Meet the new Assistant Director of the Climacus Conference, Rachel Rubino. I'm super excited about her leadership and contribution to the conference!
climacusconference.org Meet the newest member of our team! Rachel Rubino, Assistant Director
A sonnet for Theophany (Epiphany), Jan. 6.
malcolmguite.wordpress.com The Feast of the Epiphany falls on the 6th of January and I am posting this sonnet of mine as a little extra in addition to the extracts from my Advent anthology Waiting on the Word which I have be…
SALT OF SODOM
Ancient salt burned
in the Temple incense,
but also consumed. Mined, gathered
from flats or evaporated Dead Sea brine—
theories vary. So strong,
hands were washed after meals
because a careless touch to the eye
could cause blindness.
Lord, make us this
pungent, that others
might be thrown down
blind, lifted up at the sight of love,
like Saul or the three You blessed
into terror when You transfigured.
Do not toss us aside
and wash your hands.
Flavor us with danger.
- forthcoming in Image
Check out our current Speaker Spotlight! Richard Pierce, poet. http://www.climacusconference.org/speaker-spotlight.html
climacusconference.org JESUS PRAYER Richard Pierce Like convicts circling a razored yard, let my fingers, mind, soul, and lips walk the chotki’s knotted path so that exercised and shackled my mind may find my heart and...
Registration now open! www.climacusconference.org
climacusconference.org Climacus Conference
The Climacus Conference 2017 website is updated! www.climacusconference.org
climacusconference.org Climacus Conference
[12/01/15] In our recent move to a biennial model, the 6th Climacus Conference will take place in early 2017. We are excited for what is shaping up to be a fantastic conference. Look for periodic information throughout the year in 2016. Pray. Think. Deny. Ascend!
Please consider giving to this newly widowed mother of six children.
www.gofundme.com Fr. Matthew Baker was an extraordinary man. Principled. Kind-hearted. Devoted to Christ, his wife, and his six children. During this evening's snow storm, he passed away in a tragic car accident while travelling home from Vespers at his parish. His children were with him, but were thankfully not...
orthodoxartsjournal.org Review of 5th Annual Climacus conference with links to audio files of talks.
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing."
-- Camille Pissarro, Danish-French painter
The Climacus Conference 2015 was the most splendid of all weekends. It was nothing short of spectacular and blessed! From the most fruitful and enriching talks that we’ve ever had, to our largest attendance to date (we used all 150 badges), to four options of childcare (a nursery, a room with a jumpy, and nearby gym, and an altar boy retreat), to delicious food from our awesome hospitality team, to an incredible film screening on beauty, to fantastic conversation and fellowship with great people from all over—made this conference our best ever!
Some highlights, a few unexpected or unusual:
* Beauty, Love, Truth, and Goodness were woven throughout the conference, and reiterated continually.
* Driving the Goulds and the Trexlers 24 miles to their hotel in LaGrange each morning and night... and then having it occur to me as they were leaving to fly home on Sunday that I could have just given them my car for the weekend because I didn’t even need it! But it's probably better that I didn't think of it because in driving them back and forth, I got to know them much better!
* Lectures always ran behind their start time, but somehow it all worked out in the end!
* A special thank you to Father Alexis and Kh. Anna for hosting and everything else. We have the very best leadership at St. Michael!
* Jennifer Wright rocked it out with her amazing cooking and baking! And she had, as ever, unrelenting help from Amanda Vogel, Nichole Dick, Melissa Welch, and Aleonee S.
* My assistants Ricky Irvine, Carrie Sabourin, and Keith LaRue are the greatest teammates.
* Poet Nicholas Samaras, architect Andrew Gould, and poet-philosopher Fr. Jonathan Tobias delivered phenomenal talks!
* New speakers Meredith Trexler and Sam Granger were huge hits! Their presentations were fantastic. Between the two of them, we learned about beauty in Plato, Aquinas, Kant, Iris Murdoch, and C. S. Lewis. And new speaker Erick Hedrick-Moser did a killer job introducing us to Augustine.
* Jaclyn Journey's living room stage set behind the podium was killer! She is an awesome event and interior designer. Look her up!
* Brown Coffee’s 12-oz bags of Climacus Blend with the phrase “ever upward” printed on them!
* Molly Sabourin delivered a really nice opening lecture on Saturday morning. As usual, her husband Troy (and kids) and Beth Johnson rounded out the perfect weekend staying with us. (Bee and fly!:)
* The after party at Loui Loui’s was an absolute blast. They put several tables together to make one giant long table in our own private room. Eventually they had to add a second row of tables, which only made things even more fun!
Thank you to everybody who attended and supported this blessed weekend. We look forward to 2017! We plan to always improve, always expand, and always climb the steps in St. John Climacus’ Ladder of Divine Ascent—ever upward!
Pray. Think. Deny. Ascend.
- David M. Wright
Another thank you to Ancient Faith Radio for recording the weekend. If you missed it, or want to re-listen to any of the sessions, you can find them here:
ancientfaith.com Ancient Faith Radio provides high quality 24 hour internet based Orthodox radio as well as podcasts, including music, teaching, interviews, features, convert testimonies, conference recordings, and much more.
[02/16/15] A huge thank you to everyone who came and participated in this year's Climacus Conference ... it was a truly a beautiful weekend!
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