Conference | Philokallia


International Conference Sacred Music East and West:
Enlightenment and Illumination


Prague, 22 – 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

Ministerstvo kultury ČR

The Municipality of the capital city Prague – Hlavní město Praha

Magistrát hlavního města Prahy

Greek Corner

Schedule is now available

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 centred 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 has, as one of the ecclesiastical arts, 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 of the 18th century from other points of view 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) A short abstract of the paper (c. 150 words) should be sent to the Organizing Committee at by 30 April 2018.

b) Registration must be effected after the approval of your abstract by the Scientific Committee between 1 and 30 May; 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) in duration and will be published online as the Proceedings of the Conference. It is expected that all participants will submit their papers with any 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; information about this, and other details, will be forthcoming in the near future.

Participation fee: €50 Euros.


Scientific Committee:
Dr Grigoris Anastasiou – Institute 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