January 14, 2008

Sacramento State series explores relationship
between Hellenism and Orthodoxy

The show will include this piece by Rip Kastaris, created especially for the exhibition. The show will include this piece by Rip Kastaris, created especially for the exhibition.

The relationship between Hellenism and Orthodoxy will be explored in an exhibit and lecture series at Sacramento State from January to May. The series kicks off with “Hellenism & Orthodoxy: Sacred Images,” an exhibit focusing on Orthodox icons. The exhibit runs Jan. 23 through March 2 in the University Library’s main gallery and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.

An opening reception will be held in the gallery on Sunday, Jan. 27 with a social hour from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by a presentation and discussion on “Sensual Splendor: The Icon in Byzantium” by Bissera V. Pentcheva, assistant professor of art history at Stanford University.

The exhibition is sponsored by Sacramento State’s Hellenic Studies Program and Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation, and the American Hellenic Professional Society, and will feature works from other Orthodox traditions, such as Romanian, Ukrainian and Serbian, says Katerina Lagos, assistant professor of history and director of the Hellenic Studies Program. “We’re going to see some of the similarities between the Greek icons and those from the other churches,” she says.

An icon is a religious image that combines art and text. While it is usually depicted on wood, an icon can be created on canvas or other formats, Lagos says. The exhibit will feature icons both old and new from various parts of the Orthodox world, some created specifically for this show. “We’re getting a really good variety,” Lagos says.

The Orthodox Church is divided into bodies based on nationalities and the language used in the service. From there, other social attributes each may have adopted makes them unique from one another. The exhibit explores how Orthodoxy manifests itself in these different fashions and contexts.

The exhibit is just part of a greater event that includes a series of lectures focusing specifically on the role of Hellenism in the Orthodox religion.

The lecture series will feature:

• The Most Rev. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia, 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28

• The Rev. Father John Angelis, 7 p.m., Thursday, March 13

• Dr. Tony Vrame, Holy Cross Seminary, 7 p.m., Thursday, May 1

All lectures will be in the Senator Nicholas Petris Room of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection in the University Library.

For more information, call (916) 278-7103. For more information on the University’s Hellenic Studies, visit www.csus.edu/hist/centers/hellenic_minor.html or www.library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos/. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.