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Adamantios Koraes and the birth of modern Greece

altProfessor Vrasidas Karalis will present a lecture on «Adamantios Koraes and the birth of modern Greece», on Thursday 31 March 2016, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars series, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne for six consecutive years.

According to Professor Karalis, the work and the personality of Adamantios Koraes (1748-1833) have been discussed in many ways; mostly on the basis of his contribution to the creation of the modern Greek nationalism and his invention of ‘katharevousa’. What has not been discussed is his systematic critique of religion and the ecclesiastical establishment in an attempt to create the foundations for a modern secular state after the Greek Revolution of 1821.

The paper offers a brief discussion about his life and work, challenges the traditional view about katharevousa and addresses the issues of secularisation and secular identity as raised by Koraes in many of his works, especially in his edition of Paul’s Letter to Timothy and his translation of Aristotle’s Politics. The project of political secularisation as envisaged by Koraes remains to this day one of the most incomplete projects of modernity and modernisation in Greek social culture and polity. In an era of social implosion Koraes’ legacy should be revisited and re-interpreted-the paper discusses the possibilities of such a reinterpretation.

Vrasidas Karalis holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos Chair in the Department of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published on Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Cornelius Castoriadis, Theo Angelopoulos, Andrey Tarkovsky, Alfred Hitchcock, European Cinema and Global Cinemas.

His latest publications include: A History of Greek Cinema (2012) and the forthcoming second volume Realism on Postwar Greek Cinema (I.B. Tauris 2016). He has also published two volumes of oral history, Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris (2007) and The Demons of Athens (2014).

He has translated Patrick White’s Voss (1996) into Greek and many Greek poets into English, amongst them, Andrea Angelakis, Nikos Kazouros, Kiki Demoula and Odysseas Elytis.

When: Thursday, 31 March 2016, στις 7:00pm

Where: Ithacan Philanthropic Society (Level 2, 329 Elizabeth St., Melbourne)