MISSION OF THE DIOCESAN ACADEMY OF THEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL STUDIES OF THE HOLY METEORA
The contribution of Orthodox monasticism to human society and the world at large is immense and of great salvational significance. Monasteries, for that matter, have never been places of social exclusion. On the contrary, they have always played an essential role in social and spiritual life as basic factors in the formation of local economies and cultures. In addition, the monks of the Meteora monasteries have always strived to protect and preserve the Church’s spiritual and cultural treasures, i.e., its holy relics, documents, icons, manuscripts, sacred vessels and vestments. This is because ecclesiastical relics are not only objects that can attract the curiosity and admiration of the beholder through their beauty and craftsmanship. They constitute the very historical body of the Church; and they are the material manifestations of the Word of God. At the same time, every church building, every icon and every sacred vessel constitutes a ‘place’ where the faithful can meet God, a ‘place’ where the earthly and the transcendental come together. Consequently, the mission of the Academy of Theological and Historical Studies of the Holy Meteora, which is both a spiritual and scientific foundation, is to promote the history, the life and the spiritual output of the local Church and also to present and promote the study of the artistic treasures of the monasteries of the Holy Meteora and of the wider surrounding region.
More specifically, the Academy’s activities include the following:
- The establishment and operation of an Ecclesiastical Museum, which will house a selection of icons and relics of the Holy Metropolis.
- The creation of a Library of Meteora Studies for the benefit of postgraduate students and researchers.
- The organization of seminars for clergymen, Sunday School teachers, members of the local flock and students.
- The accommodation of traveling seminars and study abroad programs for Greek and foreign undergraduate and postgraduate students.
- The provision of cash bursaries to needy students residing in the Municipality of Meteora, to be awarded every year on the feast day of the patron saint of Kalambaka, Saint Bessarion.
- The creation of an Archive of the Holy Metropolis and its digitization.
- The establishment and publication of a scientific journal entitled Ἀνάλεκτα Σταγῶν καὶ Μετεώρων – Analecta Stagorum et Meteororum.
- The organization of international conferences on Stagoi and the Meteora.