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Open Seminar: Adamandios Korais, Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Greece
Open Seminar: Adamandios Korais, Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Greece
31.03.2016 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Please note the change of Venue for the next few seminars

Presenter: Prof Vrasidas Karalis, University of Sydney


The work and the personality of Adamantios Koraes (1748-1833) have discussed in many ways; mostly on the baisis 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 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 Modern Greek Studies and Byzantine 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, agonst them, Andrea Angelakis, Nikos Kazouros, Kiki Demoula and Odysseas Elytis.


We thank the following donors: Angelo Kapsalis | Eleni & Alexandros Kalymnios.

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.  You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne. Please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 03 9662 2722.

We also thank the following corporate sponsors:

2016 seminar sponsors


The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

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