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HT Week 7 – Talk by Dimitri Conomos

In collaboration with the Graduate Christian Forum (GCF), we are very glad to announce a talk next Monday, 26 February (7th Week of term and the Second Monday in Lent), by Dr Dimitri Conomos, an esteemed scholar of Byzantine and Early Slavic musicology, whom many of you will know as a long-time friend of our Society and the Oxford Orthodox community at large. He will be speaking to us on “Orthodoxy, Ecology, and the Eucharist”. You can find a description of his talk below. The event will be taking place at the Mitre Pub at the corner of Turl Street and High Street, Central Oxford, at 7.30pm. Our friends at the GCF Forum have generously agreed to host us there with fasting snacks and drinks available from 7pm.

Brief Description of Topic

The growing ecological crisis on this planet is a cause of concern for many today. In his talk on “Orthodoxy, Ecology, and the Eucharist”, Dimitri Conomos develops an Orthodox Christian perspective on how we can cope with and overcome contemporary problems of ecology. How ought we as Christians to relate to nature and the material reality around us? In what sense is the world we inhabit sacred? How did the Church Fathers view the created world and our position in it? And how can we define a Eucharistic model of living, in which our relationship to Creation extends beyond mere consumption and self-satisfaction, and through which we remain in communion with our Creator as “priests of Creation”? Dimitri will be exploring these and other topics in the hope of finding answers that may help us as Christians to find healthy ways to rethink and renew our relationship to the natural environment.

About Dimitri Conomos

Dimitri Conomos is a musicologist specializing in medieval and contemporary Byzantine, Russian, Romanian and Serbian chant traditions. Born in Sydney, Australia, he went to Oxford where he completed doctoral studies in musicology under Egon Wellesz. Following this, he was awarded research fellowships at the Patristic Institute in Thessaloniki and at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, as a Visiting Scholar. A recipient of grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Dr Conomos conducted research in early music manuscripts at the Badia Library in Grottaferrata, in Moscow, St Petersburg as well as in the libraries of the monasteries on Mount Athos. He has served in various capacities at several institutions across Europe and North America, including St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, University of British Colombia, University of Hannover, Sydney University, University of London, and Ss Kirill and Mefody Theological Institute in Moscow. Conomos has published hundreds of articles on medieval and contemporary Orthodox Church music over the past several decades, including entries for dictionaries such as the New Grove History of Music and Musicians, The Harvard Dictionary of Music and The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity Online. Pertinently to the topic of his talk, he has also served as the chair of the international Orthodox youth fellowship Syndesmos, in which capacity he has led yearly ‘spiritual ecology’ programmes in the monasteries of Mount Athos (he is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of Mount Athos), and as Orthodox representative to the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC).



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