The Third Annual Mathews Byzantine Lecture – Religion, Politics, and Identities in Byzantium: Aspects of Medieval Greek Homilies

Homilies, or church sermons, formed an indispensable part of European medieval rhetoric, East and West. Throughout the millennial existence of the Byzantine Empire (AD 330–1453), they carried the burden of the classical Greek tradition of rhetoric, which they continued in varying forms. In changed political circumstances and the Christian religious context of the Hellenized Eastern Roman Empire, sermons served as a crucial vehicle of mass communication. Although their primary purpose was to convey Christian dogmas and morals to the congregation, homilies were not only about religion. They spread ideology, propagated political allegiance or opposition to the Emperor, and formed and expressed the people’s multiple identities (religious, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic). This Mathews lecture will present these usually unacknowledged functions of the genre, focusing on the post-Patristic era, the Middle and Late Byzantium. Join us on Thursday, November 2, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

Theodora Antonopoulou is Professor of Byzantine Literature at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. She received her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, UK, and has been awarded several competitive international fellowships. She has published extensively on Byzantine Greek literature. She has authored five books, including The Homilies of the Emperor Leo VI (Brill, 1997), Leonis VI Sapientis imperatoris Byzantini Homiliae (Brepols, 2008: Excellence award, Academy of Athens, Greece), and Mercurii grammatici Opera iambica (Brepols, 2017). She has co-authored two more books, including Vitae et Miracula Sancti Christoduli Patmensis (Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2021), and co-edited another two. She is currently Chair of the Faculty of Philology of her University, Secretary General of the Greek Committee of Byzantine Studies, Secretary General Substitute of the International Committee of Byzantine Studies, and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice, Italy.

About the Series
The Mathews Lectures bring a distinguished scholar of Byzantine studies to campus each year to deliver a talk, supported by the Rev. Constantine Mathews Endowment for Excellence in Byzantine Christianity in the Medieval Institute. Vasilios Mathews and Nikiforos Mathews established the endowment to honor their father, the Reverend Constantine Mathews, who earned a Masters Degree in Liturgical Studies at Notre Dame in 1977. During a half-century of dedicated ministry, Father Mathews served as presiding parish priest at St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend, followed by the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Stamford, Connecticut.

For more information visit the event website.

Medieval Institute

November 2, 2023

Art and HistoryLaw and PoliticsReligion and PhilosophyByzantineCollege of Arts and LettersDigest151Digest188HistoryMedievalMedieval InstituteReligion

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