Fondée en 1975, l’Association est une organisation sans buts lucratifs qui se propose d’encourager et de développer au Canada l’étude sous tous ses aspects de la période dite patristique, entendue au sens large (du IIe au VIIIe s. de notre ère). 

A non-profit organization, the Society has existed since 1975 with the sole goal of encouraging and contributing to the study in Canada of everything to do with the patristic era (generally the period between 100 and 750 C.E.). 

L’Association accueille tous ceux qui en partagent les objectifs. Sont particulièrement invites à devenir membres les enseignants des universités, les étudiants et les chercheurs autonomes qui travaillent dans le domaine de la patristique. La contribution annuelle comprend normalement l’abonnement à Sciences religieuses/ Studies in Religion. Les membres en règle reçoivent aussi le Bulletin de l’Association et son Annuaire bisannuel.

The Society welcomes all who share its objectives. University staff and students whose area of study relates to the field of patristics are particularly encouraged to join. 

L’Association est affiliée à la Fédération canadienne des sciences humaines et organise à ce titre une réunion annuelle dans le cadre des Congrès des sociétés savantes qui se tiennent à chaque printemps dans une université canadienne. Présentation de communications, discussions sur un thème particulier, rapports sur les recherches en cours ou des tables rondes permettent d’échanger des idées et de partager les résultats des recherches menées par les membres.

A chaque année, un concours d’essai est organisé à l’intention des étudiants. Une aide financière permet au gagnant ou à la gagnante de présenter son texte sous la forme d’une communication lors du congres annuel.

L’Association entretient des liens privilégiés avec les conférences des études patristiques d’Oxford; c’est d’ailleurs à l’une de ces conférences qu’en 1975, quelques chercheurs canadiens jetèrent les bases de l’Association. L’Association organise une réception a Oxford, lors de ces conférences, symbolisant par là l’appartenance de l’Association à la communauté scientifique internationale dans le domaine des études patristiques.

Par son Bulletin, l’Association informe les membres de ses activités, des travaux en cours, des conférences et colloques organises par des organismes similaires, etc. Un Annuaire publié à tous les deux ans donne la liste des membres et leurs champs d’intérêt.

Par ses représentants, l’Association défend les intérêts de ses membres au conseil d’administration de la Fédération canadienne des sciences humaines, ainsi qu’au conseil d’administration et au comité de rédaction de la Corporation Canadienne des Sciences Religieuses. D’une manière plus informelle, elle entretient des relations avec l’Association internationale des études patristiques et avec les organisateurs des conférences d’Oxford.

As a member society of the Canadian Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences, the CSPS organizes an annual conference under the umbrella of the The Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences who organize Congress at a Canadian university. Various forums for the interchange of ideas and research results include the giving of papers, discussion groups centred on particular themes, reports on research in progress, and panels. Annually entries are solicited for a student essay prize; some financial support is available so that the winner may have the chance to present the essay at the annual conference. The society has a special relationship with the Oxford Patristic Studies Conferences, for it was at a conference there in 1975 that Canadian scholars laid the groundwork for a Canadian society. A reception is held at Oxford by the society, symbolizing the society’s work both in Canada and as part of the world community of scholars in this field. Through its Bulletin the Society keeps members informed of its activities, of work in progress by its members, of conferences being held by sister organizations, etc. A Directory is published every two years listing all members and their current research interests. Through its representatives the Society serves the interests of its members on the Board of the Canadian Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences, and on the Board and Publications Committee of the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion. More informally, it keeps in touch with the Association Internationale des Études Patristiques, and with the organizers of the Oxford conferences. 

The Canadian Society of Patristic Studies (CSPS) was founded in 1975 during the seventh International Conference of Patristic Studies, which meets in Oxford every four years, drawing together about eight hundred scholars from fifty countries.

The founding meeting established a provisional executive to work towards the establishment of a formal and fully-functioning society. Upon their return to Canada, their first task was to canvass potential members. Responses from the wider Canadian community of patrologists established that there was indeed a need and desire for such a society; many potential members spoke of the isolation of working in a relatively obscure field in centres widely dispersed across the country, and of their hope that conferences could be held at which they could share their work and their enthusiasm.

At a meeting during the Learned Societies Conferences (now Congress) at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in 1977, a small executive was elected. A year later, the first of the society’s annual conferences was held, and a constitution was adopted. Since then the society has met annually. Since 1982, when it joined other societies under the aegis of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFH), it has met with Congress in May/June of each year. It also has participated in the Canadian Corporation for the Study of Religion (CCSR) since 1984. On the international front, the society has maintained informal and cordial relations with the organizers of the Oxford conferences, with the Association Internationale des Études Patristiques, and with the North American Patristic Society (NAPS).

Membership has grown over the years. An essay contest, launched some years ago, has not only shown the high quality and originality of work being done in patristics by students at both the graduate and the undergraduate levels in Canadian universities, but has also contributed to a welcome increase in membership and participation in the society by students. 

In recent years the traditional topics of discussion at conferences–theology, church history, and the influence of the classical heritage in culture and philosophy on the “fathers”– have been augmented, in a welcome and exciting process of aggiornamento, by such new themes as rhetoric, violence, sexuality, and the role of women. This trend reflects the engagement of members, particularly younger members, in the vital new approaches to traditional materials and fields in the humanities afforded by the social sciences, by cultural studies and the new criticisms, and by feminism. Within its specialized field of interest, then, the society finds itself engaged in the great debates of our time as well as in more traditional kinds of inquiry. It is alive and well. 


Revised text approved by the Annual General Meeting of the Society on May 31, 2022.

1. Name: The name of the Society shall be the following: L’Association Canadienne des Études Patristiques (ACÉP)/ The Canadian Society of Patristic Studies (CSPS).

2. Objectives: The Society is a non-profit organization whose aim is to promote and contribute to patristic and closely related studies by encouraging research, by sponsoring meetings for the interchange of ideas, by disseminating information on patristic studies, by representing the Canadian community of patrologists within Canada and internationally, and in such other ways as the Society may determine.

3. Languages: The official languages of the Society shall be English and French.

4. Membership: Membership is open to all who share the objectives of the Society. The criteria shall be one of scholarly activity in the area of patristics or a closely related field, normally demonstrated by one or more of:

1) teaching present or past, at a recognized post-secondary-level institution, 

2) studying at the same level, 

3) research and publication.

Members in good standing are those whose dues are not in arrears. Those whose dues are in arrears for more than two years are removed from the list of members. Fees shall be those determined from time to time by the Society.

5. Executive: The Executive shall be composed of the following members: a president, a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer-membership secretary, a program coordinator, a communications officer/Bulletin editor and a webmaster/social media manager. The outgoing president shall normally be succeeded by the vice-president. For administrative or personal reasons, the responsibilities of the treasurer and the secretary may be combined. All elections shall take place at the Annual General Meeting of the Society.

6. Duties of the Executive: The Executive of the Society is empowered to: transact the business of the Society; appoint replacements for Executive members whose absence will be for a year or less; appoint representatives for the Society when they cannot be elected at the Annual General Meeting; plan the annual Conference. The President may appoint ad hoc members to the Executive.

7. Representation: The Society at its Annual General Meeting shall elect representatives to organizations with which it is affiliated, and which have offered the Society a place on its Executive.

8. Amendments: Amendments to the Constitution of the Society shall be approved by a two- thirds majority of those members present at the Annual General Meeting. Proposed amendments shall be presented to the Executive of the Society at least two months prior to the Annual General Meeting.

9. Nominating Committee: A nominating committee of three members shall be elected annually by the Annual General Meeting to prepare a list of candidates for election to the Executive at the next Annual General Meeting. Nominations-at-large can be made in writing up to two months before the Annual General Meeting, and nominations can also be made from the floor at the Annual General Meeting provided that the nominator has the written agreement of the nominee to serve in the office named.

10. Annual General Meeting: An Annual General Meeting shall be held at a place and time designated by the Executive, and this Meetings shall approve all matters of policy and principle affecting the Society.

EXECUTIVE (2022-2023)
President: Mona Tokarek LaFosse (2019-2023)
Vice-President: Miriam DeCock (2019-2023)
Treasurer: Steven Muir (2018-2023)
Membership: John Solheid (2022-2024)
Secretary: Don Springer (2022-2024)
Robert Kennedy (2018-2023)
Programme Coordinators: Maria Dasios (2021-2024)
Robert Edwards (2021-2024)
Communications Officer/Bulletin Editor: Eric Crégheur (2020-2023) 
Webmaster and Social Media: Heather Barkman (2019-2023) 

© Heather Barkman, 2016
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