Dr Adrahtas presents a comparative talk on Indigenous Australia and ancient Greece

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After his talk Myths & Dreamings: Cross Hatchings between Ancient Greece and Indigenous Australia, organised by the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney and hosted at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, The University of Sydney, Dr Vassilis Adrahtas is presenting a second comparative talk on Indigenous Australia and ancient Greece, organised this time by the Hellenic Club, Canberra.

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(The free talk will take place on Sunday 28 May 2023, 3:00pm, at the Apollo Room, The Hellenic Club, Woden ACT. To book click HERE.)

The title of the talk is Wisdom & Initiation: Connecting ancient Greek Philosophy to Indigenous Australian Spirituality. According to Dr Adrahtas, “adopting a comparative perspective with regards to Hellenism and Australian Indigeneity yields – surprisingly and unexpectedly – a full range of similarities between the two life-worlds. Especially the anthropological ideals of ancient Greece and Indigenous Australia stick out prominently in this respect.” More specifically, the talk will focus on the significance of wisdom (sophia) in ancient Greek philosophy and the place of initiation in Indigenous Australian systems of knowledge.

Dr Adrahtas describes further his approach by noting that “the pursuit of philosophy and the hierophanics of ritual ‘business’ have much more in common than what the geographical, linguistic and cultural differences involved might allow us to think. By comparing them I will attempt to demonstrate that both life-systems share the two ideals but with a difference in emphasis. Ultimately, we can conceptualise an ancient Greek wisdom that is initiatory and an Indigenous Australian initiation that is all about wisdom; or, to put it otherwise, an Indigenous philosophy of the Land and a Hellenic spirituality of Being seem to be compatible.”

As an integral part of Western civilisation that features prominently in Australian culture, it seems that the legacy of Hellenism should and can be explored in connection with the most important spiritual capital in this country, namely, the Indigenous Dreaming. This talk by Dr Adrahtas, so timely organised just one day before the celebrations of Reconciliation Day in ACT, is precisely such an exploration that aims at promoting the cross-cultural connections of Hellenism, especially with regards to the broader community and its most cherished Indigenous background.

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Dr Adrahtas at his previous talk "Myths & Dreamings: Cross Hatchings between Ancient Greece and Indigenous Australia" (Photo: Supplied)

About Dr Vassilis Adrahtas

Dr Vassilis Adrahtas holds a PhD in Sociology (Panteion, Athens) and a PhD in Studies in Religion (Sydney). He has been teaching at universities both locally and overseas since 2002. Currently, he teaches Islamic Studies at Western Sydney University and Ancient Greek Religion and Myth at the University of NSW. His doctorate thesis at the University of Sydney is titled Prophecy Dreamings: Hermeneutic Approaches to Some Instances of Indigenous Syncretism in Post/Colonial Australia (2006). He has lectured on Indigenous Australian Religions at Studies in Religion, The University of Sydney; has tutored at the Indigenous Academic Success Program, Charles Sturt University; and he has also organised several short courses on Indigenous religious traditions at WEA, Sydney. He is the author and co/editor of ten books.

Dr Adrahtas writes a weekly column published every Sunday for Greek City Times, called "Insights into Orthodoxy".