Online Lecture: ‘Chôra and the Creation of Sacred Space in Byzantine Architecture’ with Jelena Bogdanović, Thursday 30 March 2023, 12pm (EDT)

Thursday, March 30, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the final lecture in its 2022–2023 lecture series.

Can we talk about Byzantine architecture beyond buildings? What is at stake?

This presentation engages with the scholarly opportunities for theoretical considerations of sacred architecture in light of Byzantine intellectual and creative practices. Primarily focusing on principles of architectural design, sacred space is highlighted here not as an abstract category nor as a specific sacred place or location but rather as a combination of the two. As such, sacred space points to a historical and evocative locale and associated events; yet it remains inseparable from its essential qualities. By revisiting the architectural design of Byzantine churches, this talk will demonstrate the meaningful relations between created sacred space and the faithful, between physical objects in space, and the significance of non-material aspects of built structures in communicating the vitality of architectural form as a kind of participatory icon of space. Especially important is the philosophically and architecturally suggestive concept of chôra (χώρα) and its cognate hypodochē (υποδοχή), originally introduced by Plato in his instrumental text Timaeus. This presentation will analyze the relevance of chôra and hypodochē for understanding the modes of creation of sacred space and religious architecture in the late antique and Byzantine Mediterranean.

Jelena Bogdanović (Ph.D. Princeton University) is an Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Classical and Mediterranean Studies at Vanderbilt University. She studies cross-cultural and religious themes in the architecture of the Balkans and Mediterranean.

Advance registration required at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/chora-and-the-creation-of-sacred-space

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

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Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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