The Athens Dialogues

Body and Spirit: The Dynamics of an Antithesis

15 November 2013
Main Stage
A workshop about the relationship between body and spirit and the expression of this complicated issue in history, philosophy, art and science.
Free admission


The purpose of the colloquium is to discuss issues preoccupying man throughout the centuries regarding the relationship between body and spirit and the expression of this complicated issue in history, philosophy, art and science.

The colloquium intends to focus on historical and modern concepts from a diachronic perspective covering ancient Greek thought, medieval developments and modern notions, where logic emerged as the predominant tool for the progress of science. The 20th century is of particular interest, as consumerism focuses on the body and the spirit cut off from their spiritual dimension (either in the ancient Greek sense propounded in its philosophy or even in the sense of the medieval potential sanctification of matter).

Today, consumer society is faced with the international economic crisis; it is possible that we shall witness a new transition which will bring new approaches to concepts associated with matter and spirit.

Click here to download the programme.

This one day workshop is part of the Athens Dialogues project, organized by the Onassis Foundation in collaboration with eight world class academic institutions (the Institut de France, the Accademia dei Lincei, the University of Oxford, Stanford University, the Austrian Academy of Sciences,  the German Archaeological Institute, the Center for Hellenic Studies of Harvard and the Academy of Athens) and held at the Onassis Cultural Centre in November 2010, with the participation of prominent scientists from all over the world. The beginning of this scientific and cultural project was highly received on an international level while more than 50,000 people watched the conference live through the internet.  
The Athens Dialogues is an ongoing project, which is also continued through the electronic scientific journal entitled the Athens Dialogues e-journal. The e-journal is edited by the Center for Hellenic Studies of Harvard University while Professor Gregory Nagy is the editor in chief. This pioneering electronic platform, which was designed especially for the Athens Dialogues, publishes the essays and the presentations of the speakers as well as the open dialogue between the audience and the scientists, through an application that signals a new era for electronic media. The texts are enriched with various links and can be used in multiple ways.


Among the speakers are:

Andrew Louth: Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies at Durham University, Visiting Professor of Eastern Orthodox Theology at UniversityVrije in Amsterdam
Algis Mickunas: Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Ohio University
Urοs Τ. Todorovic: Department of Modern Greek Studies at Sydney University, Australia and Department of Social Theology at the School of Theology of the University of Athens
Lina Nikolakopoulou: Lyric writer
Stelios Virvidakis: Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy and History of Science of the University of Athens

This discussion forms part of the “Greek thought in dialogue: Experiential learning programmes” project, which is itself part of the “Academy of Plato: the State and the Citizen” Action implemented within the framework of the Education and Lifelong Learning Programme co-funded by the EU (European Social Fund) and national funds.   


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Entrance to all the events in the “Talks and Thoughts” Cycle is free and on a first come, first served basis.
The distribution of entrance tickets begins one (1) hour before each event.
Simultaneous translation is provided in the case of speakers using a language other than Greek.

The "Talks & Thoughts" events are also live streamed on
The videos are also available after the end of the shows.