2016 Summer Seminar: "Spirituality and the Senses"

Dates:  July 1 – 9, 2016

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies

Menoikeion Summer 2016
"Greetings from Thessaloniki" Mt. Menoikeion Summer 2016

The senses are an integral part of the monastic experience: as visitors, we are granted visual access to only certain parts of the monastery, while others remain hidden. This is true of all the “perceptible” aspects of the monastic experience: we smell the incense, taste the food, admire the icons, and feel the products the monastery produces; we marvel at the devotions of the monastics and wonder at the unseen aspects of their lives. Even the wood of the monastery has a hidden meaning beyond the patently visible, as it comes from Mount Athos and is therefore imbued with no uncertain spiritual significance. The exploration of the dichotomy between the physical and the spiritual worlds, the knowable and the unknowable, the rational and the irrational, are themes central to all of the humanities, and will provide a theme of reflection to which all participants can actively contribute to and participate in across disciplinary backgrounds.

The Seminar, sponsored by Princeton’s Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, is a unique academic experience that allows for the exchange with fellow graduates and undergraduates across departmental boundaries. It is also a very rewarding opportunity to investigate Byzantine / Modern Greek history, art history, architecture, musicology, anthropology, religion, politics, and beyond at an historic monastery in near continuous, active use since the thirteenth century.

Seminar Directors:

  • Nikolaos Bakirtzis (Professor, The Cyprus Institute)
  • Dimitri Gondicas (Professor, Hellenic Studies)
Seminar Coordinators:
  • Alexander Baron-Raiffe (French)
  • Vicky Hioureas (History) 
Princeton Faculty:
  • AnneMarie Luijendijk (Professor, Religion)
Greek Archaeological Service Participant:
  • Xenophon Moniaros (9th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities)
Princeton Graduate Students:
  • Richard Calis (History)
  • Liliane Ehrhart (French and Italian)
  • Adam Hatzikyriakou (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Antonio Iannarone (Comparative Literature)
  • Denise Koller (Comparative Literature)
  • John Lansdowne (Art and Archaeology) 
  • Chloé Vettier (French and Italian)
  • Justin Willson (Art and Archaeology)
Princeton Undergraduate Students: 

"Greetings from Thessaloniki" Mt. Menoikeion Summer 2016
"Greetings from Thessaloniki" Mt. Menoikeion Summer 2016