This course consists of an academic pilgrimage to Late Antique and Byzantine Attica, Boeotia, and Corinth, where Saint Paul preached the message of Christ and developed some key concept of the new religion. The course offers an overview of the beginnings of Christianity as a sect within Judaism and traces its growth into a separate religion. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the texts that shaped the early Christian Church, while the study of the formation of the Christian liturgy will enable us to comprehend Christian architecture and the use of space.
The Growth of Christianity
The earliest followers of Jesus were predominantly Jews. It took almost two centuries for Christianity to grow apart from Judaism and become an influential gentile religion in the Roman Empire. This is a period during which the Christians agreed on the basic canon of the New Testament and established a structured hierarchy with bishops who could demonstrate a chain of succession all the way back to the Apostles. Christianity gradually spread from city to city across the Roman Empire, despite local or more widespread persecutions. This module traces the growth of Christianity from the 1st century AD by examining seminal documents of the early Christian period and selected writings of the early Christian Fathers.
Patterns of Christian Worship
The early Christians, almost always a small minority in their communities, took advantage of any space available to worship. More often than not, this meant congregating in private residences. Gradually, as Christianity spread among the gentiles and its influence grew, it was possible to develop more standard forms of architecture that could express the new theological concepts and allow the successful performance of the liturgy. This module explores the function and framework of the Christian worship through theological and historical sources. The patterns are explained inside extant Early Christian and Byzantine churches in Attica and nearby towns in order to identify the purpose of each space, its religious function, and its evolution through the centuries.
Relics and Liturgical Objects
This module examines Byzantine liturgy form the perspective of minor arts in terms of materials, techniques, and use of objects. The material elements of the liturgy have their own history and origin, that often goes back to the early days of Christianity and the first centuries of the Byzantine Empire. What is the role of the chalice, the ciborium or the paten? Theory and practice are linked to create a series of objects which became vital in the Byzantine liturgy. On the other hand, the Byzantines believed that relics had the power to win wars and to heal sickness, and this belief was gradually intersected in the liturgical practices.
• Discover the places where Paul the Apostle taught and delivered the message of Christianity in Athens and Corinth
• Wander in streets that were frequented by the Athenians during the Early Christian and Byzantine period
• Discover the relationship between the writings of early Christian Fathers and liturgical space
• Visit specialized museums with rich collections of liturgical objects
• Indulge in the Byzantine liturgical heritage through on-site seminars, guided tours and workshops by specialized lecturers
✓ Reflect theologically on the scope, pattern, and practices of Christian worship
✓ Identify ancient Greek, Roman, and Hebrew contributions to the development of Christian thought and practices
✓ Exhibit a critical understanding of the writings of seminal ecclesiastical figures who had a major impact on the evolution of Christian faith and practices
✓ Identify the material and techniques used in the minor arts associated with the Byzantine liturgy
PERKS & OPTIONS
What is included in our programs?
- 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
- Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
- Breakfast and lunch
- Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
- Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
- All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific program
- Information material
- Local taxes
- Travel insurance
- Transport to and from the airport in Greece
- Airfares to and from Greece
- Any custom request