SOCHA Updates, Changes and Expansions

There have been a lot of interesting things in the works for SOCHA as of late, and we’re going to put them all into a single post so our readers can be brought up to speed all at once.

It’s hard to believe, but SOCHA has been around for nearly three years. Our founding directors were Fr. Oliver Herbel, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, and Matthew Namee. This past October 1st, at the 2011 SOCHA Symposium, we added Aram Sarkisian to our board.

On March 9th, SOCHA was incorporated as a legal entity in the State of Kansas, a step we have long anticipated. We are in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS. Once that happens, we’ll be able to do all sorts of things to expand the work of SOCHA, and we look forward to including all of our readers in these endeavors.

We would also like to announce that on March 9th, Fr. Oliver Herbel resigned from his position as the Executive Director of SOCHA, and is no longer a member of our board of directors.  We thank Fr. Oliver for his contributions to the society’s work. With Fr. Oliver’s resignation and our incorporation, we’ve also moved to a different shape of governance for the Society. There will no longer be an Executive Director or Associate Directors, but simply a board of directors.

We also welcome Matthew J. Baker to the SOCHA Advisory Board. Matthew has an M.Div. from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, as well as a Th.M. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He is a Ph.D. student in the Theology department of Fordham University, specializing in the writings of Fr. Georges Florovsky, a towering figure in 20th century Orthodoxy, both in America and throughout the world. Matthew’s special interests include hermeneutics, the intersection of patristics and modern philosophy, and questions of reason, revelation and tradition in Orthodox dogmatics. He has published articles in International Journal of Systematic Theology, Participatio: The Journal of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, Transactions of Russian-American Scholars in the U.S.A., Theologia: The Journal of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and Crkvene Studije, and has several book chapters forthcoming. He is editorial assistant to the journal Participatio and theological advisor to the Fr. Georges Florovsky Orthodox Theological Society of Princeton University. Matthew spoke at the 2011 SOCHA Symposium and has been featured prominently at the 2011 and 2012 Patristics Symposiums hosted by the Florovsky Society at Princeton Theological Seminary.

We are also working on a new format and name for the SOCHA journal (a sort of “reboot”), to be entitled the Journal of Orthodox Church History in the Americas (JOCHA). It will take a while to put together, but we’ll be offering some exciting content from a variety of authors, on subjects both familiar and perhaps less known. Matthew Baker will also be serving on the editorial board of the journal. We’re planning a re-launch later this year.

We’ve decided to postpone the previously scheduled 2012 SOCHA Symposium that had been slated for Princeton this Fall and to expand to a national-level conference in 2013, as well as looking at some regional conferences on a smaller scale.  This was a difficult decision for us to make, but we feel it will lead to an extremely productive event next year.  We thank Princeton Seminary and the Florovsky Society for their support, and look forward to working with them again in the future.

Also of note is that SOCHA is now on Twitter! You can find us there as @OrthodoxHistory. We hope to see you there, too.

We are very excited about the future of SOCHA. There are a lot of things in the works, and we look forward to keeping you posted through OrthodoxHistory.org, our Facebook page and our new Twitter account.  As always, we welcome your input on topics you would like us to research, as well as any other ideas you may have for SOCHA’s consideration.

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