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Enlightenment & Illumination Call for Papers

Jopi Harri giving his presentation on how stichera were sung in Valaam at the Prague conference in 2016.

International Conference Sacred Music East and West:

Enlightenment and Illumination

Prague, 23 – 25 November 2018

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 - Magistrát HMP

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 Conference will take place at the Charles University in Prague.

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 31 March 2018. Only original papers will be accepted.

  • Registration must be effected after the approval of your abstract by the Scientific Committee between 31 March and 20 April; this will be effected by a special registration page on the ISOCM website, which will be set up soon. Registration includes payment of the participation fee.

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.

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.

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


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