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Seminar 6:
An introduction to Eastern Christian spirituality


The travel writer William Dalrymple wrote: "Christianity is not a Western religion. It was not founded in London (however much the Victorians liked to believe that God was an Englishman), nor in Rome, still less in Brussels. It was born in Jerusalem and received its intellectual superstructures in Antioch, Damascus, Constantinople and Alexandria." But the spirituality of ancient Eastern Christianity is largely unkown in the West. Even the spiritual traditions of the Orthodox Churches, established in Australia for more than a century, remain unfamiliar, understood (if at all) as foreign, exotic and incomprehensible. The Anglican Church played a significant role in the discovery of Eastern Christian spirituality in the West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. John Mason Neale translated both Eastern liturgies and hymns. The writings of the Anglican mystic, Evelyn Underhill, drew on Eastern Christian sources. Recently there has been renewed interest in the Christian East, both in its externals (notably its iconography) and its traditions of prayer and spirituality.

This seminar will introduce the spirituality and ascetical theology of Eastern Christianity, exploring the relevance of Eastern spiritual traditions in the contemporary Western world, including whether Eastern Christian spirituality has any meaning in modern Australian Christianity.

DateTuesday 5 June
Time7.30 - 9.30 pm
VenueSt Peter's, Eastern Hill, Melbourne
Cost$15 (includes light refreshment)

Conductor: Fr Gregory Tillett,
Priest of the British Orthodox Church



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