Beauty and Tradition Conference

Doru Costache spoke at CIS’ Beauty and Tradition conference, 28-30 September 2018. He presented the paper, ‘The Philokalia: A Brief History of Reading Well and Living Beautifully.’

Here is the abstract of his presentation:

The educated western reader is already aware of the different articulation of the spiritual life in the eastern Orthodox tradition. Such a reader would have undoubtedly heard of the eighteenth-century collections of texts known as Dobrotoljubie and The Philokalia, and maybe has even browsed this literature. What may have been the outcome of this encounter is not mine to address. What I intend to do here is sketch a brief history of the traditional trends which paved the way for these eighteenth-century collections, followed by an account of the immediate roots of the philokalic movement, to end with an overview of the implications of this movement for the Orthodox experience in modern times and contemporarily. My contention is that in the philokalic literature, tradition, wisdom, and beauty go hand in hand. The relevance of my approach to the topic of this conference is double. On the one hand, I look at a strand of the Christian tradition. On the other hand, I focus on a florilegium of wisdom texts considered almost normative for Orthodox spirituality. Against this backdrop, my paper addresses a collection of traditional readings which offer guidelines for achieving a beautiful life—the very goal of Orthodox spirituality.

The video recording of the presentation (credit Otilia Costache).

The slides of the presentation.

For more details on the conference, follow this link.

The speaker conversing with Professor Peter Forrest, FAHA (UNE), who chaired the session (photo credit Otilia Costache).