The Centre of Saint Demetrios and Gregorios Palamas Studies is a Research and Educational Center of the The School of Social Theology and Christian Culture of AUTH
The Centre of St Demetrios and St Gregorios Palamas serves research and educational needs in the fields of Hagiography, Hymnography, Christian Literature, Byzantine Theology, and Christian Art, both at a university level, in Greece and internationally, as well as at a broader educational level, with the possibility of using its research and educational activities and products in primary and secondary education, as well as in related educational and social institutions.
Object of the Centre
The research and study of the rich and even historically unique literature produced from the early Byzantine to the post-Byzantine period, both prosaic and metrical, to honour one of the most popular saints of Byzantium, patron saint of Thessaloniki and the Byzantine army, is the object of the Centre. Within this literature, the various translations of the works produced throughout the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods are also of particular importance, both in the West, where the honour of Saint Demetrius was transferred, especially after the Crusades, and in the Orthodox Slavic world, the Balkans and Russia, a fact which is also related to the issue of the formation of the historical and spiritual identities of Europe. This literature remains to this day in part unpublished or incompletely published and requires the systematic investigation of both the manuscript tradition of Demetrius’ literature and the preparation of new critical editions of all texts. This preparatory work is essential for the systematic study of the voluminous reservoir of texts related to the formation and consolidation of Thessalonica as the “city of Demetrius”, as already characterized by Byzantine writers, and its establishment among the great pilgrimages of the Christian world during the Byzantine and Western Middle Ages, an element that survives and is mainly revived today with the development of pilgrimage tourism to Thessaloniki, centred on the church of the Saint.
The research and study of the hagiological and hymnographic tradition of the Father of Byzantine Hesychasm and Archbishop of Thessaloniki in the 14th century, Saint Gregorios Palamas, as well as his work and theological thought, is also another object. This work was of paramount importance to the Christian world of the East throughout the post-Byzantine era, a counterpart to Thomas Aquinas in the West, studied and promoted by numerous institutes and scholarly centers in Europe and elsewhere. The Palamite work is still today at the centre of international theological and philosophical research, starting with its critical edition that began half a century ago at the Faculty of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which has made Thessaloniki an international centre for the study of the work of Saint Gregorios Palamas. The completion of this publishing project and the systematization of the research and study of Saint Gregorios Palamas and Hesychastic works in general is a desideratum that the Centre of Saint Demetrios and Saint Gregorios Palamas is going to reach.