Orthodox Historian Lectures on New Discoveries
On September 28, Nicholas Chapman, a member of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the
Americas, presented a lecture to the Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary community. His lecture,
entitled “The Church and Empires: Revisiting the Origins of Orthodoxy in the Americas 1496—1867,”
featured the results of archival research in America, England, and Venice, Italy. Mr. Chapman’s lecture
challenged the conventional view that Orthodoxy originated primarily with the Russian Mission in Alaska, and instead proposed a more multicultural origin story.
He linked the origin of Orthodoxy with American colonization, noting that there were Greek Christians even among the first Spanish explorers. He also explored in depth the first certifiable Orthodox convert in America, Philip Ludwell III, whose descendants may have kept the Orthodox faith for over two centuries. Chapman, who also manages the publication and bookstore operations for the Monastery, has published his findings in a special issue of the journal Road to Emmaus.