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Identifier 000417883
Title Το σώμα της αγιορειτικής προσευχής
Alternative Title The body of Mount Athos prayer
Author Τσαντηράκης, Γεώργιος
Thesis advisor Γκούνης, Κωνσταντίνος
Reviewer Τσαντηρόπουλος, Άρης
Νικολακάκης, Γεώργιος
Abstract This thesis is an ethnographic study of the monastic community of Mt. Athos and its object is the practice known as the Jesus Prayer. The aim of this research is the exploration of the ways through which the body is constituted, exist, and undergoes processes of metamorphosis within the context of communal co-existence, as this context is constructed in a sacred place. In addition, it aspires to shed light on aspects of the relation between spirituality and corporeality. Fieldwork involved three journeys of a total length of 3,5 months during a period of one year. In the course of fieldwork I underwent a process of initiation in the world of Mount Athos and in the practice of Jesus Prayer, with the following research questions in mind:  How can the Jesus Prayer be understood through the initiation process it entails?  What are the aspects of its embodiment?  How can we account for its efficacy and power? The methodology through which I approached Jesus Prayer was participant observation conducted according to principles posed by George Marcus and Michael Fischer and Clifford Geertz. This ethnographic description/inscription of the sacred place does not leave out the researcher and the particular conditions of his encounter with its inhabitants. In the context of this encounter, the primacy of discourse and vision gave their place to the senses, as the codes for understanding this prayer were inextricably interwoven with the bodily experience. Mount Athos, as a topos, is characterized by the conditions of hesychia (ησυχία) and obedience. Hesychia is based on the notion of the secret. Secrecy permeates every facet of Mount Athos’ monastic life and upon this notion it is founded as a topos which is an exclusive and excluded male space. Men are visiting Mt. Athos to entrust the church fathers with their secrets; to ostracize secrets which had remained guarded, hidden amidst the regularity of everyday life. The condition of hesychia constructs a reality by denying it, that is, through absence. Obedience, in turn, is indissolubly connected to the ordering (Ordnung) of Mount Athos and forms a basic pattern of social relations. Ordering appears as a cornerstone for the process of community formation and provides the context within which social relations are molded. Obedience, as a pattern of conduct among monks, is based upon the scheme of “presenting and receiving,” which runs through the entire collective existence of Mt. Athos. This scheme links one generation to another and community members conceptualize this process as their essential duty for the perpetuation of the sacred that is guarded within the confines of the monastic community. Monks of Mt. Athos form a community of faith and interest. The practice of Jesus Prayer is essential to the maintenance, continuation, and coherence of collective life in Mount Athos, because of its ability to define meanings and coordinate bodily movements and rhythms. Through the practice of Jesus Prayer, a spiritual topos is established in the praying person’s consciousness, wherein the sense of the sacred develops. In sum, Jesus Prayer is firmly embedded in a framework of Orthodox Christian monasticism, fostering a certain relation with the self so that the human being can experience the sacred and come into contact with the divine.
Language Greek
Subject Anthropology of the senses
Body
Holy places
Mount Athos
Prayer
Sacred
Άγιο Όρος
Ανθρωπολογία των αισθήσεων
Ιερό
Προσευχή
Σώμα
Issue date 2018-06-15
Collection   Faculty/Department--Faculty of Social Sciences--Department of Sociology--Post-graduate theses
  Type of Work--Post-graduate theses
Permanent Link https://elocus.lib.uoc.gr//dlib/2/f/0/metadata-dlib-1536826825-315068-14221.tkl Bookmark and Share
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