2016-17 Events


Upcoming Events


A Syriac Non-Orthodox View of Seventh-Century Events in the Near East

Lecture by Muriel Debié
École Pratique des Hautes Études
Monday, April 3 ,2017 | 6:00 p.m. | O'Hare Special Collections Room, Walsh Library | Rose Hill Campus

Syriac non-Orthodox literature offers a view of the seventh century that differs from the one presented by Byzantine Orthodox and Islamic sources. Questioning the Sasanid and then Arab “conquests” as well as the “canonized” periodization, this lecture will share how Syriac texts offer a alternate understanding of a period we still perceive as a turning point in the history of the region and the world.

Dr. Muriel Debié, Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, is currently a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies. She is a world-renowned expert in Syriac Studies, and particularly of Syriac historiography.

This lecture is part of the Syriac Studies Series of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

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For more information, please contact Lisa Radakovich Holsberg, lholsberg@fordham.edu.

Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred

International conference presented by the Sacred Arts Initiative and the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, in collaboration with the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University.

May 1-4, 2017 | McNally Amphitheater | 140 W. 62nd St. (between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues)
Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus | New York City

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is pleased to host the academic sessions of this international and interdisciplinary conference, bringing together scholars from diverse fields (music, theology, sacred acoustics/sound studies, architecture, religious studies, philosophy, et al.), as well as artists experienced in the performance and recording of Pärt’s music, to create a unique forum for the exchange of ideas, research, practices and creativity on the topics of sound and the sacred.

The music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is frequently connected with experiences of the sacred. Although the composer’s religious affiliation is specifically Orthodox Christian, his music and its impact carry an appeal beyond confessional and religious boundaries. His popularity crosses over customary distinctions between classical and popular music, sacred and secular art, liturgical space and concert hall.

The unique impact of Pärt’s music has been explored musicologically—and more recently through the lens of spirituality— but not yet in terms of the more basic elements of sound and embodiment. Through a two-fold approach, with more or less direct relationship to the Pärt repertoire, the conference seeks to break new ground exploring primary questions around how music achieves its visceral and spiritual effect on human beings through the materiality of the movement of air impressing itself on the human body.

Confirmed speakers include:

Jeffers Engelhardt, Alexander Lingas, Bissera Pentcheva, Kevin Karnes, Toomas Siitan, Andrew Shenton, and Robert Saler, as well as an exclusive filmed interview on the conference theme with Paul Hillier. The conference will open with a special appearance by Manfred Eicher.

Affiliated events may be held at nearby venues. This conference is open to the public. 

Learn more about the conference

For more information, please contact Lisa Radakovich Holsberg, lholsberg@fordham.edu.

Past Events

Religion in America through Orthodox Eyes: The Travelogue of a Nineteenth-Century Russian Orthodox Thinker

The 2016 Annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture
Presented by Vera Shevzov
Professor of Religion, Smith College

Introduction by Anna Meyendorff

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 6:00 p.m.

12th-Floor Lounge | E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center
Lowenstein Center | 113 West 60th Street | New York City

At the age of 26, the future Biblical scholar, prolific author, translator, and founding editor of one of the most well-known Biblical commentaries in pre-revolutionary Russia—the so-called Lopukhin Bible—Alexander Pavlovich Lopukhin (1852-1904) arrived in New York City from St. Petersburg, Russia. Fluent in English and assigned as a lay reader to the small Orthodox community attached to the Russian Consulate in New York City, the young Lopukhin spent two years closely observing life in America.  His stay subsequently resulted in a travelogue, numerous essays, and public lectures in Russia on religious life in the United States, as well as a dissertation on Roman Catholicism in America. This talk will examine this Orthodox scholar's sometimes surprising and lively reflections on religion in America and consider his observations in light of a historically persistent Orthodox Occidentalism. 

Watch a video of the lecture and read about the event on Fordham News.

The 2016 Orthodoxy in America Lecture is made possible with a generous grant from the Nicholas J. & Anna K. Bouras Foundation, Inc.

Out of the Flames: Preserving the Manuscript Heritage of Endangered Syriac Christianity in the Middle East

Lecture presented by Columba Stewart, OSB
Professor of Theology and Executive Director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML)
Saint John’s University

Introduction by Gerald Blaszczak, SJ
Director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Fairfield University

Monday, February 6, 2017 | 6:00 p.m. 

South Lounge | Lowenstein Building Plaza Level
Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus | 113 West 60th Street | New York City

The Syriac Christians of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, Syria, and southeast Turkey) are among the most vulnerable of minority cultures in the current Middle Eastern crisis. Their culture is ancient and its manuscript heritage is among the richest in the Christian world. Dr. Columba Stewart, OSB, a Benedictine monk as well as one of the world’s leading experts in Syriac Christianity, has written extensively on early monastic history and on exchanges among Syriac, Greek, and Latin monastic cultures. For more than a decade he has led a major effort to preserve the manuscript heritage of Christians and Muslim communities threatened by war and globalization.

This lecture will describe the significance of Syriac Christianity as a counterpoint to historically dominant Greek and Latin Christian cultures, with a particular focus on the manuscripts that embody and represent Syriac heritage. It will also describe current efforts to preserve and share those precious manuscript witnesses in the face of determined efforts to destroy them.

We are pleased to welcome back to Fordham University the Reverend Gerald Blaszczak, SJ, who will provide the introduction. “Father Gerry,” as he is known, was a catalyst in the creation of the Orthodox Christian Studies program at Fordham University.

This lecture is part of the Syriac Studies Series of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

"Hajji Mama," or the Christian Family Hajj to Jerusalem

Lecture presented by Valentina Izmirlieva
Chair, Department of Slavic Languages
Columbia University

with respondents

Sarit Kattan Gribetz
Assistant Professor of Theology
Fordham University

Ebru Turan
Assistant Professor of History
Fordham University

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.

O’Hare Special Collections Room | Walsh Library 4th Floor
Fordham University Rose Hill Campus | 441 East Fordham Road | Bronx, NY 10458

From the 17th to the 19th centuries in the European part of the Ottoman Empire, Orthodox Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem took as their model the Muslim Hajj to Mecca. These paradoxical Christian pilgrims called themselves “hajjis,” using an Islamic honorific, but insisted on their Eastern Orthodox identity and the Orthodox ethos of their quest.  Valentina Izmirlieva’s research addresses religious coexistence and cultural exchange among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the context of multi-ethnic and multi-religious empires.

Join Fordham professors Sarit Kattan Gribetz and Ebru Turan as Dr. Izmirlieva shares the story of how the Orthodox Hajj to Jerusalem emerged from within Muslim Ottoman culture as a Christian family project; and further, as a surprising vehicle for female mobility, creativity, and empowerment.

This lecture appears courtesy of the institutional partnership between the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University and the Black Sea Networks Initiative of Columbia University.