The Stravros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies is pleased to welcome Dr. Niki Tsironi of the National Hellenic Research Foundation for a public lecture entitled “Female Deities of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Emergence of the Cult of the Virgin” at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue on October 18th. This keynote lecture will mark the beginning of a conference of internationally renowned scholars and researchers of the Cult of the Virgin Mary entitled “The Virgin Beyond Borders: The Early Cult of the Mary in Byzantium, Egypt, and Syria.” The conference is also presented by the Centre and will be held in the days that follow at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus.
Female Deities of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Emergence of the Cult of the Virgin
Dr. Tsironis will shed insight into the common characteristics of female deities in the Eastern Mediterranean and emphasize similarities and differences between them and the Mother of God that emerged from the cultural setting of Jewish religion. She will also highlight the unique instance where ancient traditions meet and give way to a new religious and cultural emblem that would dominate the faith, heart and intellect of the Eastern and the Western world for more than 2,000 years.
Niki Tsironis is a byzantinist and graduate of King’s College London. Since 1998, she has been working at the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation. She is an Associate in Byzantine Studies of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University and an Adjunct Professor of Byzantine Studies at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. She is a member of the editorial board of the Etudes Balkaniques – Cahiers Pierre Belon of the Association Pierre Belon, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris. She specialises in the cult of the Virgin Mary, a topic on which she has published extensively. She is also leads two research projects of the NHRF on the Book in Byzantium and Orality and Performance in Greek Tradition.
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