Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Conference - Unwedded Bride: Marian Hymns in the Eastern Churches

The Centre for Marian Studies and the Orthodox Network are organising a two-day conference on the Mother of God in the Orthodox and Oriental Churches, at the University of Winchester (18th-20th August 2015).
The earliest evidence for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary comes from the Greek and Oriental churches, and the writings of the early authors of Eastern Christianity have influenced the cult of the Mother of God in both East and West. The Western church in recent decades has seen an upsurge of interest in the liturgy and theology of the East, and this conference will draw together scholars from both sets of traditions and from the secular academy to consider the rich Marian inheritance of Byzantine, Near Eastern and non-Chalcedonian Christians, with a focus on the tradition of hymnody.
Speakers who have agreed to address the conference include Andrew Louth (Durham University), Niki Tsironis (Institute for Byzantine Research, Athens), Pierre Najem (Notre Dame University, Lebanon) and Sebastian Brock (University of Oxford).

The location for the conference is the beautiful city of Winchester, which has a long Christian (and specifically Marian!) history. Winchester is easily accessible from London and Oxford, and the University of Winchester provides excellent conference facilities and residential accommodation.

Call for papers
Papers are invited on the main conference theme, but contributions on other aspects of the cult of the Mother of God in the East will also be considered. The topics may concern any period of church history, and may be in any relevant discipline – theology, liturgy, anthropology, art history, literary studies or politics.

Fee for the full conference: £230, including full board and lodging for the first day (Tuesday 18th-Wednesday 19th), and half board (without dinner) for the second day (Wednesday 19th-Thursday 20th).
Day 1 only: £90 including dinner.
Day 2 only: £70 without dinner.
Cheques should be made payable to the Centre for Marian Studies. A reduced fee may be available on request.

Enquiries should be addressed to either
Dr Andreas Andreopoulos (University of Winchester),
or Dr Sarah Jane Boss (Centre for Marian Studies, University of Roehampton),
Email:, Telephone 07977 192458.

A draft programme is the following:

Tuesday 18th
2.p.m. onwards.  Registration
3.30.  Tea
4.00.-5.00.  Sebastian Brock:  'Bride of Light:  Mary in the hymns of the Syriac Churches'
5.00.-5.45.  Bronwen Neil: ‘Mary as Selective Intercessor for Souls in Hades in Middle Byzantine Apocalyptic’
5.45-6.30.  Richard Price: ‘The Mother of God in the Russian Spiritual Verses’
6.30.  Evening prayer
7.00.  Supper

Wednesday 19th

9.15.a.m.  Stephen Shoemaker: ‘The Mother of God in the Jerusalem Chant Book’;  Olga Grinchenko: ‘Hymns to the Mother of God found in the Slavonic Kontakaria and their Byzantine counterparts’;  Ephrem Lash: ‘Images of the Mother of God in Orthodox hymns’
11.15.  Coffee
11.45.  Pierre Najem [Near or Middle Eastern texts]
12.45.  Lunch
2.30.p.m. Brian Reynolds: ‘Patristic Echoes in Dante’s Mariology’;
Kevin Alban: ‘Some Eastern theological aspects of Carmelite Mariology’; and Sarah Jane Boss: ‘Theophanes of Nicaea’s On the Holy Mother of God as a foundation for Mariology’
4.30.  Tea
5.00. Nikolaos Loudovikos: ‘Mary in the work of Nikolas Kavasilas’
6.30.  Evening prayer

Thursday 20th

9.15.a.m.  Andrew Louth:  ‘The Mother of God in the theology of Fr Sergii Bulgakov’
10.15.  Niki Tsironi:  ‘The Mother of God in the thought and homilies of Anthony of Sourozh’
11.15.  Coffee
11.45. Andreas Andreopoulos: ‘The Significance of Mary for Modern

12.45.  Lunch

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