The Hellenic Arts Society

Is pleased to present

Dr. Robert W. Allison

Professor of Classical And Medieval Studies

At Bates College Lewiston, Maine

In a slide lecture On

"Greek Religious Pilgrims And Their


(Cancelled last year due to the death of Archbishop Iakovos)

Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 4:00 PM

Cotsidas Cultural Center Saint Spyridon Cathedral 102 Russell Street Worcester, MA

Reception to Follow the Lecture

Free to Members and their Guests

The Lecture...

The Greek people have a long tradition of traveling to religious sites to express their faith and honor the objects of their worship. Professor Allison will give an illustrated lecture with slides of the various sites to which Christian Greeks journeyed, including Mount Athos, the Holy Lands and 81. Catherine's Monastery. He will discuss how these pilgrimages were conducted and their Orthodox purpose.

Why do Christians go on pilgrimages? What do pilgrims bring back with them from pilgrimages? How are their lives changed by pilgrimages? Ever since the fourth century, when a Roman lady by the name of Egeria went on a pilgrimage to the sacred places of the Bible land, pilgrims have written the memoirs of their pilgrimages, called proskyneteria, and have marked their return to the world by the tokens that they brought back with them. These tokens range from tiny vials of manna (holy oil or dust) to large icons, all bearers of the blessing (evlogia), which accompanies the pilgrims upon their return to the world.

In this slide lecture, Professor Allison presents a variety of pilgrimage tokens ranging in date from the fourth century to the present, and offers some insight into how the lives of pilgrims who brought back these tokens were changed by their experience, and the role that the tokens played in their transformation, and how the proskyneteria and the tokens together help us to understand their experience

The Lecturer...

Professor Robert W. Allison graduated from Brown University with a degree in Religious Studies and in 1975 earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the Department of Early Christian Literature. Presently, he is Associate Professor of Classical and Medieval Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.

He is conversant in ancient and modern Greek and teaches courses in both. His special interest is in ancient Greek Christian manuscripts. Since 1980 he has been a Research Associate at the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies in Thessaloniki, Greece. He has published several books and numerous articles on the study of manuscript libraries at Mount Athos monasteries

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