Fr. Michael is available to speak on: Christian History, Science & Religion and Western Ideas. Learn more »
After years of struggling with secular and religious values, Massouh arrived at Saint Peter’s understanding: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). So, in 2000 at the age of 60 he was ordained to the holy priesthood in the Orthodox Church.
Light-hearted and with an infectious sense of humor, Fr. Michael’s talks draw upon his formal education in mathematics, the history of science and technology, and theology, and his experiences in managing a plastics injection molding company, college teaching and administration, volunteer work, and together with his wife, Ginny, raising three boys and a girl.
He grew up in a city, Canton, Ohio, in a cross-cultural neighborhood, where around the corner from his home the Antiochian Orthodox Church was located. The grandson of a much loved and well-known Orthodox priest, Fr. Michael became steeped in the Orthodox faith, but by his teenage years, he found more certainty in science and mathematics.
Majoring in mathematics in college, he entered the graduate program in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley where he experienced a major intellectual crisis: the queen of the sciences, mathematics, was not certain. Mathematical truths were only true within a specific mathematical entity, and there were several mathematical entities. Parallel lines, for example, never met in Euclidean geometry, but could meet in Non-Euclidean geometry. Which “truth” was correct: parallel lines meeting or not meeting? It depended upon the geometrical context in which one was speaking.
Where was truth to be found then, if not in science and mathematics? It took time, more reading and study, and marriage and the raising of children to uncover the maxim that living with ambiguity was the sign of maturity. It was only then that the mysteries of Christ made sense. Christ is the truth, but He and the Father, and the Holy Spirit are “ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, [and] incomprehensible.”
Still thinking about all that that means, Fr. Michael brings a disarming approach to his lectures and talks. It is his position that Western, scientific, materialistic culture requires the refreshing antidote of Orthodox teachings on God, on Man, on marriage, and on imitating St. Paul imitating Jesus Christ.
Currently, he is Executive Director of Antiochian Village, a Christian Conference Center located on 300 acres in the Laurel Highlands near Ligonier, Pennsylvania that possess a chapel, a 21,000 volume research library on Orthodox Christianity, and an Antiochian Heritage Museum.
Fr. Massouh has published articles in Technology & Culture (the journal of the Society for the History of Technology), The Harvard Business Review, The Word (official publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), and Praxis (the educational journal of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese). In 1998, he was a recipient of the Templeton Award for teaching a graduate level course on the science and religion.
Fr. Massouh holds an A.B. in mathematics from Hiram College, a Master of Science and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in the history of science and technology, and an M.A. in theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary. He also studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary.
In addition to teaching college students, he hosts a weekly radio program, Orthodox Perspectives, and leads Elderhostel programs. Among his topics are:
- Orthodox Christianity: Its History and Theology
- Science and Religion: At Odds or Compatible?
- Renewing Baptismal Vows: Would you do it Again?
- Christmas as a Holy Day: Its Origins
- Renaissance and Enlightenment Ideas: Have they run their course?