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Orthodox Christian Studies Center Events

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center sponsors a wide range of academic and public lectures, seminars, and conferences.Art opening and reception at William D. Walsh Family Library, Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art.

The Center’s two signature events are held at Fordham University in Manhattan. The annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture explores the Orthodox tradition as it intersects with the American religious experience, and the Patterson Triennial Conference provides a contemporary, two-day conference of panels and lectures that foster Orthodox and Catholic dialogue.

Throughout the year, the Center offers other public events at Fordham as well as sponsorship of offsite lectures, conferences and seminars. In addition, the Center’s co-directors and scholars are frequently called upon to lecture at churches, universities and nonprofits around the globe.

Upcoming Events

Webinar Series: Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is delighted to introduce a new webinar series that will highlight the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Christianity.  Each episode will be conducted as an interview by one of the Center's co-directors. The broadcasts will be live-streamed and open to all who have pre-registered.  Each interview will include some time for live-audience questions. For those who miss the live event, the Center will archive each episode on its website and Youtube page.

Episode 4 with Vera Shevzov

This episode features an interview with Vera Shevzov, professor of religion and director of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program at Smith College. Trained in Russian history at Yale University, where she received her bachelor’s and Ph.D., as well as at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, where she received her M.Div, she has published on a wide range of topics related to Orthodox Christianity in modern, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia. Supported at various stages by the American Academy of Religion, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation, her publications have engaged lived religion and religious thought and their interface with: history, liturgy, and sacred memory; notions of “the West;” revolution and visual violence; the culture of icons; and the image of Mary.

Her book, Russian Orthodoxy on the Eve of Revolution (Oxford University Press), was awarded the Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History. Most recently, she co-edited a volume of essays on Mary in modern, Revolutionary, and Post-Soviet Russian culture. She is a former co-chair of the steering committing for the Eastern Orthodox Studies unit of the American Academy of Religion, and is
currently co-editor of the Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press). This past year, she was a fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University.

 

Register here for Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity.

Orthodox Christian Studies Center events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00p.m. (Eastern) | Online webinar via Zoom (link to be sent out the evening prior)


Episode 5 with Mariz Tadros

Mariz Tadros is a Professor of Politics and Development at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Mariz is the director of the UK Department of International Development funded programme the  Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID), launched in November 2018, and is also the PI for the British Academy grant for a project on Understanding People’s Heritage as a repertoire for socially cohesive, sustainable Development https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/projects/sustainable-development-heritage-repertoires-egypt-beyond/ .

Since joining IDS, Mariz has led several multi-disciplinary, multi-country research programmes in thematic areas relating to civil society and democratization, gender, politics, human security, religion and development. She was formerly Co-Director of the DFID-supported RPC on Social and Political Action for Empowerment and Accountability and was previously the co-leader for the Power and Popular Politics Cluster.

Mariz has authored over one hundred research outputs, and her books include: Resistance, Revolt, and Gender Justice in Egypt (Syracuse University Press), The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt: Democracy redefined or confined? (Routledge) and Copts at the Crossroads: The challenges of building an inclusive democracy in contemporary Egypt https://aucpress.com/product/copts-at-the-crossroads/  (American University in Cairo Press) and her latest book co-edited with Kenneth R. Ross and Todd M. Johnson is Christianity in North Africa and West Asia (Edinburgh University Press).

(Registration link coming soon.)

Orthodox Christian Studies Center events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00p.m. (Eastern) | Online webinar via Zoom (link to be sent out the evening prior)


Orthodoxy in America Lecture and Reception

Presented by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

September 21, 6 p.m. 

Past Events

WSOC w/Dame Averil Cameron

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity

Episode 3 with Dame Averil Cameron

This episode features an interview with Dame Averil Cameron. Dame Averil is one of the world’s most accomplished scholars of late antiquity and Byzantium, with major contributions to our understanding of early Christian historical writing, devotion to the Theotokos, and the intersection of Christianity with the Roman Empire.  While teaching at Kings College London (1965-1994), she founded the Centre for Hellenic Studies and served as the editor for the Journal of Roman Studies.  In 1994, she was elected Warden of Keble College, Oxford, a position she held until her retirement in 2010.  She is the author or editor of more than twenty books and, among her many honors, she was named “Commander of the Order of the British Empire” in 1999 and “Dame Commander” in 2006.  She has recently written on contemporary appeals to the Byzantine heritage and the concept of orthodoxy in Byzantium.  Her most recent book is Byzantine Christianity: A Very Brief History (SPCK, 2017).

You can see the video of this event on our YouTube channel.

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity (Nadieszda Kizenko)

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity
Episode 2: Nadieszda Kizenko 
SUNY Albany
June 2020

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University continues its webinar series highlighting the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Christianity.

This episode features an interview with Dr. Nadieszda Kizenko, Professor of History at the State University of New York at Albany. Dr. Kizenko specializes in Russian history with a focus on religion and culture. Her work has explored topics such as the history of Orthodox Christianity, saints’ lives as a historical source, lived religion, political liturgy, women’s written confessions, and depictions of religion in film. She is interviewed by Center Co-Director Aristotle Papanikolaou.

The full interview with Professor Kizenko can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Women Scholars of Orthodox Christianity 1 (Susan Ashbrook Harvey)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 4 - 5 p.m. | Webinar via Zoom

Episode 1:
Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph.D.
Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of History and Religion
Brown University

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is delighted to introduce a new webinar series that highlights the scholarly insights and academic careers of female scholars whose research and writing explore some facet of the history, thought, or culture of Orthodox Christianity.  Each episode is conducted as an interview by one of the Center's co-directors. The broadcasts are live-streamed and open to all who have pre-registered.  Each interview will include some time for live-audience questions. For those who miss the live event, the Center will archive each episode on its website and Youtube page.

This installment features Susan Ashbrook Harvey, PhD, who is the Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of History and Religion at Brown University.  Dr. Harvey specializes in late antique and Byzantine Christianity, with Syriac studies as her particular focus. She has published widely on topics relating to asceticism, hagiography, women and gender, hymnography, homiletics, and piety in late antique Christianity.

The full interview with Professor Harvey can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Orthodoxy and Anthropology in Conversation

March 9, 2020 | 6:00 p.m. | 12th-Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus

Most scholarly engagements with Orthodox Christianity rest in the fields of theology and history, with little ethnographic focus on the socio-political, everyday lives of Orthodox Christians today. Similarly, anthropology of Orthodoxy is often devoid of theological sensitivity. In an effort to make Orthodox Studies holistic and attuned to the experiences of believers, this panel bringing together theologians and anthropologists of Orthodox Christianity to think through the social life of religious concepts and the future of the field. Orthodoxy is not a tradition of the past, but rather is forged by the challenges of the modern world and the debates of contemporary life. 

Moderated by:
Candace Lukasik, OCSC Coptic Studies Fellow
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, OCSC NEH Dissertation Fellow 

Panelist Biographies:
Angie Heo 
is Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at the University of Chicago.  After receiving her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, she taught at Barnard College and held research fellow positions at Emory University and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.  Based on fieldwork in Egypt, The Political Lives of Saints (University of California Press 2018) is her first book.   
 
Alexandra Antohin is an anthropologist of religion, with a specific focus on Orthodox Christianities. Most recently, she completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and participated as a member of Africounters, an inter-disciplinary research group focused on issues facing the African continent. She currently serves as the Senior Research and Program Director at the Avoice Virtual Library Project, a digital archives capturing black legislative behavior in the United States House of Representatives. She is also the managing co-editor of the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 2018, as well as a contributing editor of The Jugaad Project: Material Religions in Context. Alexandra completed her doctorate in Social Anthropology at University College London and is currently a professorial lecturer at George Washington University. The results of her ethnographic study of Ethiopian Orthodox church life, “The Covenant’s Veil: Ethiopian Orthodox Tradition of Elaboration”, is under review by the Fordham University Press special series “Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought”.

Sonja Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Colby College.  Her research examines the intersections of caste, race, gender, class, and religion in postcolonial India and community-based movements for “minority rights.”  She is the author of Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India (UWA Press, 2018).  She has also written articles on education and religious minorities in India, the South Asian American diaspora and comparative racializations, and Black vernacular traditions in the US and globally.  Sonja is associate editor for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.  She is currently researching Catholic missionary priests from India serving in rural America.  

Elina Vuola, ThD is Professor of Global Christianity and Dialogue of Religions at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is also the vice dean of international affairs and societal relations of the Faculty. Her most recent publications are The Virgin Mary across Cultures. Devotion among Costa Rican Catholic and Finnish Orthodox Women (Routledge 2019) and Orthodox Christianity and Gender. Dynamics of Tradition, Culture and Lived Practice (Routledge 2019), which she co-edited with Helena Kupari.

Donna Rizk Asdourian, PhD was a Research Fellow at Fordham University (New York), focusing on 'Women's Role in the Liturgy: the Coptic and Oriental Orthodox Churches." She holds a Masters from Holy Cross Orthodox Seminary, a Masters in Eastern Christianity from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Theology from King's College London, and also did work in Austria, and in the field of Liturgical Studies in Berkeley. Her research interests include Coptic Orthodoxy, Armenian Studies, Liturgical Studies, and Women in the Church. 

Register for "Orthodoxy and Anthropology in Conversation" here.

The Female Diaconate and the Orthodox Church

February 11, 2020, 6 p.m. | McNally Amphitheatre, Gabelli School of Business | Lincoln Center Campus

Panelists include:
Carrie Frederick Frost, St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox School of Theology
Teva Regule, President, Orthodox Theological Society in America
Kyra Limberakis, Hellenic College Holy Cross
Moderator: Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, New York University

Register for the Female Diaconate and the Orthodox Church

Panel Session: Orthodox Christianity, Sexual Diversity, and the Public Sphere

November 19, 2019 | 6 p.m. | Flom Auditorium, Walsh Family Library | Rose Hill Bronx, NY

A public event of the Fordham-Exeter “Bridging Voices” project "Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Identity and the Challenges of Pluralism and Sexual Diversity in a Secular Age."

Moderator: Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University
Panelists: Brandon Gallaher, University of Exeter
Very Reverend John Jillions, Orthodox Church in America
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, New York University
Gregory Tucker, University of Regensburg

Jerusalem: City of the Book

Merav Mack (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Benjamin Balint

November 13th, 6:00PM | McNally Amphitheatre | Fordham University | Lincoln Center, NY

Co-sponsored with the Center for Medieval Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies

Merav Mack is a historian and scholar of contemporary religion affiliated with the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Protestant Institute for Archaeology at Augusta Victoria. Her current research focuses on Christian minorities in the Middle East. Benjamin Balint is a writer and translator based at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. His previous books include Running Commentary and Kafka’s Last Trial. (Bios from Yale University Press)

The Limits of Philosophy or Theology Otherwise

The Very Rev. Archimandrite John Panteleimon Manoussakis (College of the Holy Cross)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | 5 p.m. | Butler Commons, Duane Library | Rose Hill, Bronx, NY

This title evokes two seminal works on the philosophy of religion, namely, Kant's Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone and Levinas' Otherwise than Being. The objective of this paper is to say something about a theology beyond the constrains of logos (how logos is to be understood here will be discussed), that is, a theology which is confronted by the body as the limit and limitation of philosophical logos, of which the recent phenomenologies of the body (Marion, Falque) have made us aware.

Fr. John Panteleimon Manoussakis is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross and editor-in-chief of the Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion (Brill). His publications focus on philosophy of religion, phenomenology, Plato and the Neo-Platonic tradition, Patristics, and psychoanalysis. He is the author of God After Metaphysics: A Theological Aesthetic (Indiana, 2007, translated into Russian and Romanian), For the Unity of All (Cascade, 2015, translated into Italian), and more recently of The Ethics of Time: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Change (Bloomsbury, 2017).

The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine

A co-sponsored event of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center (Fordham University) & the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

December 4, 2018
Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

In October of 2018, the Orthodox Church’s Istanbul-based leader, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, announced that he will grant autocephaly (independence) to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has been under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. As religious tensions between the newly established Kiev Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate develop, the future of the Orthodox Church remains uncertain. Panelists will discuss the political, theological, historical, and geopolitical dimensions of these recent events in their commentary, as they assess the current status and future opportunities for the church in Ukraine.

Featuring Center Co-Directors George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou
Also featuring:
José Casanova, Georgetown University
Shaun Casey, Georgetown University
Nadieszda Kizenko, SUNY Albany

Video of the Future of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine can be found on the Berkley Center website.

Women of the Church: Faith, Service, and Leadership

Panel session featuring:

Donna Rizk Asdourian, Ph.D.
Fellow, Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University

Ann Bezzerides, Ph.D.
Director of the Office of Vocation and Ministry
Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

Tamara Grdzelidze, D.Phil., Ph.D.
Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the Holy See (Vatican)

Sister Vassa Larin, Ph.D.
Coffee with Sr. Vassa (Podcast)
Member, Commissions of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church (Liturgy and Church Art; Canon Law)

Moderated by Patricia Fann Bouteneff, D.Phil.
Director, Pan-Orthodox Women’s Network

October 9, 2018 | 6 p.m. | 12th-Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus

Summer Intensive Course in Medieval Georgian

Dr. Vitaly Permiakov

August 6-17, 2018 | Fordham University | Rose Hill Campus | Bronx, NY


About the Instructor:

Born to a Russian family in Riga, Latvia, Dr. Permiakov relocated to the United States in 1999 after completing his undergraduate studies. He entered St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY with the blessing of late Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas (OCA, d. 2011), and in 2002, he was tonsured to the ecclesiastical rank of Reader in the Three Hierarchs Chapel of SVOTS. After finishing seminary, he enrolled in a doctoral program in Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where in 2012 he defended a dissertation on the history and origins of the Byzantine rite for the consecration of churches.

Dr. Permiakov is Assistant Professor of Liturgical and Dogmatic Theology at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, where he has been teaching since 2011. His research focuses on the liturgical history of Jerusalem and Palestine in the Byzantine period. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and Society for Oriental Liturgies (Societas Orientalium Liturgiarum).

To read about Dr. Permiakov's scholarly and popular work, see his HTOS faculty profile.

50 Years Since Catonsville

Lecture by Jim Forest

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | 7:30 p.m. | Flom Auditorium, Walsh Library | Rose Hill Campus | Bronx, NY

About the Speaker

Jim Forest, a noted theologian and peace activist, served alongside Dorothy Day as managing editor of The Catholic Worker, and from 1977 to 1988 he served as secretary general of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Forest is also the co-founder of the Catholic Peace Fellowship and a former member of the Milwaukee 14, a group of anti-war activists who burned thousands of draft files in September 1968 in protest of the Vietnam War. He is also the author of a number of books, including Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton (Orbis 1991) and Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment (Orbis 2014).

This event was sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, the Department of Theology, the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, and the Fordham College at Rose Hill Dean’s Office.

The Church for Academia

Bridging Scholarship with Ecclesiastical Life

Oriental Orthodox Studies Seminar Day

Moderator: Donna Rizk, Ph.D.
Fordham University Research Fellow

Speakers:

Archbishop Vahan Hovhanessian
Armenian Orthodox Church, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of France
Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, Fordham University

Archbishop Dionysius
Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Patriarchal Delegate and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States
M.A. in Eastern and Oriental Liturgy, The Pontifical Oriental Institute

Bishop Kyrillos
Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop of Education of the Southern Coptic Diocese of California
Ph.D. in Patristics, University of Notre Dame

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | 6 p.m. | Tognino Hall (Duane Library) | Fordham University Rose Hill Campus | Bronx, NY


The Oriental Orthodox Studies Seminar on The Church for Academia: Bridging Scholarship with Ecclesiastical Life aims to discover the ways to engage scholarship with the Church. The gulf between academia and the life of the average lay person often remains wide; formative study and the Church many times are perceived as two distinct worlds that should not and cannot merge. However, the academy and the Church can each contribute towards the others enrichment and growth.

To bridge the two, some questions must first be addressed:

  • What are some steps both the academy and the Church can take to engage with the other?
  • How can the specialization of academia, found at the highest bookshelves, fall into the hands of the average church goer? And the celebrant?
  • Is it the Church’s vision and responsibility to lead members in the field of academia for the enhancement of the Church?
  • How can the Church officially integrate and sanction its members who are in the academy or in the pursuit of it?
  • Can a structure be established, particularly for non-ordained leaders, including women. If so, how?
  • What challenges does or can the Church face in establishing a set structure for such positions?
  • How can the Church be prepared for ‘church-academics’?

Bouquets to Icons: Exhibit and Reception

Saturday, February 24, 7 p.m. | Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church | 10 Mill Road, New Rochelle, NY

Join us for an evening where floral designers will present an array of arrangements inspired by beautiful icons. In creating their arrangements, these designers pay tribute to and draw their inspiration from these icons. The icons will be displayed along with their floral arrangements. At the end of the evening, the floral arrangements will be raffled.

The Human Being as the Image of God in Fourth-to-Sixth Century Coptic Texts

A Lecture by Alberto Camplani, Sapienza University of Rome
Introduced by Donna Rizk, Fordham University

Tuesday Dec 5 | 6 p.m. | 12th Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus


This lecture will propose a new contextualization of fourth- and fifth-century Egyptian Christian debates about the human being “in the image of God” (Gen 1:26-27), by locating them within broader intellectual and institutional tensions in the Egyptian church and highlighting the originality of the Coptic contribution. The controversies surrounded such issues as the place of God’s image in the human compound; the image’s permanence after the fall of Adam and Eve; the role of the body in higher forms of prayer and mysticism; and the significance of anthropomorphic expressions found in the Bible. The sources analyzed will include Greek fragments by Theophilus and Cyril of Alexandria as well as a number of Coptic texts (either translated from Greek or directly composed in Coptic) such as Melito’s On the Soul and the Body, two of Shenute’s sermons, the anonymous Life of Aphu (a bishop of Oxyrhynchus and monk), and the works attributed to Agathonicus of Tarsus.

Trump, Putin, and Traditional Values

Moderator

Mark Movsesian
St. John's University Law School

Panelists

Shaun Casey
Georgetown University, former head of Religion and Global Affairs Office of US State Department

Nikolas Gvosdev
United States Naval Academy

Kristina Stoeckl
University of Innsbruck

Peter Wehner
Ethics and Public Policy Center, former White House staff under Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr.

Wednesday, November 1 | 6 p.m. | McNally Amphitheatre | Lincoln Center Campus


American Evangelical and Russian actors—both from the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church—are forming alliances to support “traditional values” against "political liberalism," and each for their own purposes: ;American Evangelicals are attempting to influence the political and cultural landscape of the US; the Russians are forging a new East-West cultural cold war. This panel session will explore the political, social, and religious dimensions of this new alliance that has geo-political implications.

Watch Trump, Putin, and Traditional Values

Orthodoxy in America and America's Orthodoxies- David Bentley Hart

The 2017 Orthodoxy in America Lecture

Presented by David Bentley Hart

Research Fellow at The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

September 26 | 6 p.m. |12th-Floor Lounge | E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center | Lowenstein Center | 113 West 60th Street | New York City


This lecture will reflect on the degree to which Orthodoxy in America, under pressure from convert communities and the society as a whole, might be seen as bringing about a new phase in Orthodox identity, or even (for both good and ill) a new Orthodox synthesis. Is the emerging American expression of Orthodoxy truly Orthodox, or is it more truly American? Or, conversely, is Orthodox identity a single thing, or does it emerge anew in every new cultural setting?

Out of the Flames: Preserving Endangered Syriac Christianity

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

Syriac Studies Series of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center

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 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.

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

Lecture presented by Valentina Izmirlieva

Chair, Department of Slavic Languages
Columbia University

Respondents:

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Assistant Professor of Theology
Fordham University

Ebru Turan

Assistant Professor of History
Fordham University

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 | 6 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.

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

Syriac Studies Series of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center

Lecture by Muriel Debié

École Pratique des Hautes Études

Monday, April 3 ,2017 | 6 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.

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.

Speakers

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.

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.

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

Religion in America through Orthodox Eyes

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 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.