Did Jesus Christ laugh? Does laughter generate doubt? Is there room for laughter in the biblical tradition and patristic theology or is Christian life solely inextricably intertwined with seriousness and mourning? What is, in fact, the relationship between Christian faith and joy? Is John Chrysostom indeed the greatest opponent of laughter and drama? Why and how did such a debate stir the interest of such giants of literature as Charles Baudelaire, Hermann Hesse, Umberto Eco, and Nikos Kazantzakis? What are their respective positions in this matter?
In this paper Professor Chrysostomos Stamoulis will argue that the Christian church is not a cheerless community and that laughter, joy and desire do not negate the mystery of the Cross. In other words, what is at stake here is the interplay not between laughter and its overt rejection, but between its timely and untimely manifestation.
About the Speaker
Chrysostomos Stamoulis is Professor of Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology at the Department of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He studied Theology at the Universities of Thessaloniki (Greece), Belgrade (Serbia) and Durham (UK) and teaches the core module of Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology, as well as the following optional modules: Philocalic Aesthetics of Orthodoxy, Theology and Film, Contemporary Atheism, Science and Orthodox Theology. His major works include: Theotokos and Orthodox Dogma. A Study in the Theology of St Cyril of Alexandria, Palimpseston Publications, Thessaloniki 2003 (1996) • On Light. Personal or natural Energies? A contribution to the contemporary debate on the Holy Trinity in the Orthodox world, Palimpseston Publications, Thessaloniki 2007 (1999)• Sacred Beauty. An Introduction to the Philocalic Aesthetics of Orthodoxy, Akritas Publications 2010 (2004, 2005, 2008) • Lot’s Wife and Contemporary Theology, Indictos Publications, Athens 2008• Eros and Thanatos. Essay for a Culture of Incarnation, Akritas Publications, Athens 2009• As if I were a Stranger and a Wanderer, Or, Incarnation: The migration of Love, Akritas Publications, Athens 2011. Further papers and essays have been published in English, French, Italian, German, Serbian, Romanian, and Russian. In 2011-2013 he served his first term in office as Head of the Department of Theology and was re-elected for a further term (2013-2015). He undertook musical studies at the Macedonian and State Conservatories in Thessaloniki. He is principally engaged in choral music and composition and has made 5 CDs.