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International Conference on Sacred Music East and West:

“Enlightenment & Illumination”

Prague, Czech Republic / 23-25 November 2018

Registration must be effected after the approval of your abstract by the Scientific Committee  until the 10th of June.

Schedule is now available

Call for Papers

The International Conference will be held at Charles University in Prague

Organizer: Philokallia Association


ISOCM - The International Society for Orthodox Church Music

Faculty of Education – Department of Music Education, Charles University, Prague
Faculty of Arts – Department of Musicology, Charles University, Prague


Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic

The Municipality of the capital city Prague - Hlavní město Praha

The Conference Theme

The idea of light is at the root of the words "enlightenment" and "illumination", but their application, as manifestations of Western and Eastern thought, has been very different. The Age of the Enlightenment (Aufklärung, le Siècle des Lumières) was centered on human reason as the prime means of the advancement of the human race. Such a notion has generally been seen in opposition to ecclesiastical dogma (notably in the France of the 18th century).

In juxtaposition to this, Eastern Church music, as one of the ecclesiastical arts, has been viewed as a means of Illumination (φωτισμός), in which mankind is lit not by human reason, but by the experience of God.  This Conference aims to investigate the role and character of sacred music written in relation to these two concepts.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

- Western sacred music as an expression of the Enlightenment 

- Western sacred music in opposition to the Enlightenment

- Eastern sacred music as an expression of Illumination
- Illumination and Enlightenment as contrasting or complementary ideas in the ecclesiastical arts

- The legacy of the Enlightenment in the development of Western sacred music

- Illumination in icon and music

- Contacts between Western and Eastern sacred music as a result of the Enlightenment

Papers that deal with music and other spiritual or philosophical streams of the 18th century are also welcome.

The language of the Conference is English.

Submitting a paper

  • A short abstract of the paper (c. 150 words) should be sent to the Organizing Committee at by 30 April 2018. Only original papers will be accepted.

  • Registration must be effected after the approval of your abstract by the Scientific Committee until the 10th of June; this will be effected by a special registration page on the ISOCM website. Registration includes payment of the participation fee.

  • Registration is now open.

  • Auditors are encouraged to attend. For this there will be a nominal fee and you may register on the spot; there is no need to register beforehand.

Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes (thus allowing discussion time of 10 minutes) and will be published online as the Proceedings of the Conference. It is expected that all participants will submit their papers with necessary corrections and alterations in time for publication. Suggestions for panel sessions are also welcome.

Participation in the Conference and the publication of a text whose topic has been accepted by the Scientific Committee are conditional upon payment of the participation fee. Travel expenses, per diem expenses and hotel accommodation are to be covered by participants. The organizers will provide assistance with finding affordable accommodation and meals; further detailed information will be published in the future on the ISOCM website.

Participation fee: €50 Euros.

Discounts will be available for low budget/student participants.

Scientific Committee:

Dr. Grigoris Anastasiou – Ιnstitute of Byzantine Musicology, Athens

Prof. Dr. Achilleas Chaldaeakes – National & Kapodistrian University of Athens
Dr. Maria Alexandru – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Very Rev. Dr. Ivan Moody – CESEM - Universidade Nova, Lisbon

Mgr. Marc Niubo, Ph. D. – Institute of Musicology, Charles University, Prague

MgA. & Mgr. Marek Valášek, Ph.D – Charles University, Prague

PhDr. Marios Christou, PhD. – Charles University, Prague

Organizing Committee

PhDr. Marios Christou, PhD. – Charles University, Prague

Very Rev Dr Ivan Moody – CESEM - Universidade Nova, Lisbon

Dr. Maria Takala-Roszczenko – University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu

Additional information
for more information, please contact:

Dr. Marios Christou at


2018 Conference

Conference News

ISOCM Conferences

2020 - U.S.
2018 - Prague
2016 - Prague
2016 - Minneapolis
2016 Prague Conference Photos
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