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Valpo Announces “Journey to the Christian East” Speaker Series

Sept. 9, 2021 – Valparaiso, Indiana – Valparaiso University presents the inaugural year for its newest lecture series, Journey to the Christian East.

Journey to the Christian East introduces attendees to the people, history, cultures and beliefs of Eastern Christian communities throughout the world. Lectures will explore diverse topics including ritual practices, sacred art and music, women in the Church and the experience of immigrants in North America.

The lecture series will be hosted by Nicholas Denysenko, Ph.D., Emil and Elfriede Jochum Chair in Theology.

Speakers include:

Candace Lukasik: “Christians in the Middle East: The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt and Diaspora,” Sept. 21, virtual. This lecture will focus on the different political subjectivities and religious positionalities of Coptic Christians between homeland and diaspora.

Scott Kenworthy: “The Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet Regime: From Crucifixion to Resurrection,” Nov. 4, virtual. This talk will trace the trajectory of the Soviet anti-religious campaign and the ways in which Russian Orthodoxy responded and adapted.

Rev. Jacob van Sickle ’06: “Icons in Northwest Indiana: A Trip to Merrillville,” March 12, 2022, 8600 Grand Blvd., Merrillville, IN 46410. Learn about the meaning of icons in Eastern Christian liturgy and piety, and the art of iconography at Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

Sister Vassa Larin: “How to Find Silence on Times Square: Hesychasm for All,” March 22, 2022, virtual. Lent is a special time devoted to prayer, silence and seeking spiritual and mental peace. Sr. Vassa will reflect on how ordinary people can join the monastic pursuit of hesychasm — holy silence.

Antoine Arjakovsky: “Orthodoxy, Fascism and World War II: The Witness of Saints in Paris,” April 7, 2022, Helge Center, Multi-Purpose Room. Hear crucial stories about Orthodox resistance to the Nazis during World War II. Arjakovsky will reflect on Christian responses to contemporary right-wing populist regimes.

All events are free and open to the public.