IMS Open Lecture Series The Image of the Greek: Western Views of Eastern Orthodox Monks and Monasteries c. 1000-1500
'The Image of the Greek: Western Views of Eastern Orthodox Monks and Monasteries c.1000-1500'
The second lecture of the 2016-17 series was delivered by Professor Andrew Jotischky. It focused on the late medieval west's fascination with the Eastern Church; in particular, differences between monastic practices and the appearances of monks which were both popular aspects highlighted by pilgrims in their travel journals. The bearded eastern monk appeared to be of particular interest to western pilgrims, given their associations of excessive hair growth with moral decadence.
Professor Jotischky suggested that the re-conceptualization of the boundaries of the Holy Land due to western losses, combined with a new interest in effective piety (both of which occurred during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries) were the principle driving forces behind the evident fascination in pilgrim narratives. Illustrated by slides and colourful excerpts from these narratives, Prof. Jotischky’s lecture was clear and engaging, and encouraged a number of thoughtful questions from the audience.
Professor Jotischky taught at the University of Lancaster between 1995 and 2016. His research interests are centred in the religious life and culture of the Eastern Mediterranean, especially the Latin Church in the Crusader States, in monasticism and pilgrimage.