A first step into Chronotopia

Ironically, this blog is to be inaugurated with notes about a real website I am building. With the support and collaboration of Leo I started a project to document Orthodox churches in North Texas. Why Orthodox churches? The idea came from a challenge to find a beautiful church to attend on Christmas. Not being Catholic, I decided to still attend the most interesting Catholic church I knew for Christmas mass, and that happened to be the this church that looks a lot like a nice whipped cream cake. Why not an Orthodox church, I was asked? I realized I hardly knew any Orthodox churches in the area. More surprisingly, I realized that even though I was baptized as a baby and had studied religion on my own and in academic settings, I had never attended one full Orthodox mass in my life. How is that for a researcher of Medieval Studies, especially one interested in popular religion? This had to be corrected and the result has been amazing. We found many Orthodox churches, visited several of them, photographed their interesting buildings and art and learned a lot more about contemporary everyday religion and how it is expressed though visual symbolism.

I have also grown a lot in photography. Now I am working on a website that will make the best photos available as well as an interpretation of the experience these churches are creating through their art. This blog will host notes that cannot be placed on the website for various reasons. For example, some of my interpretations might seem disrespectful to the extremely welcoming priests who allowed us to take pictures inside their churches, which is a sensitive topic in Orthodox Christianity.

But this blog is not just about my Orthodox churches project; it’s not a place for my reject notes or pictures… It’s an interpretation of the world as I know it or see it. Pretty interesting place, I would say! I am naming the blog Chronotopia as a tribute to Bakhtin’s concept of space-time continuum. Notes from Chronotopia will be notes from my “here and now” experience.


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