Ascetic Practices and the Mind in Eastern Christianity

1-2 March 2024

Pryzbyla Center Great Room B
The Catholic University of America


Neurological and psychological research has confirmed the effectiveness of monastic meditative practices in accomplishing mental healing. In ancient monasticism, these practices were adopted as preparation for the contemplative life, and they continue to be employed now in monasteries both east and west. This conference discusses both the early Christian and Byzantine traditions of monastic training, accumulated over centuries of recorded experience.  It then turns to investigating the application of these continuing practices to engage with current medical therapies derived from neurological research and therapeutic practice.

Confirmed speakers include:
Robin Darling-Young, Fr. Luke Dysinger, David Elliot, Carrie Frederick Frost, Jennifer Herdt, Fr. Chrysostomos Koutloumousianos, Fr. Damaskinos Olkinuora of Xenophontos Monastery, Fr. Steven Payne, Brother Theophan Miskovic, Fr. Stephen Muse, Nathan Tilley

There will also be a prayer clinic and an iconography clinic.

For more information or to request accomodations, email 


Friday, March 1
Saturday, March 2


Registration for the conference is free, but required. 

To register for the conference, please complete this form

Register here for the iconography or prayer clinics

Support for ISEC

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The Institute expresses its gratitude to the following for their generous support of this conference:
George & Judy Marcus Foundation
Roberta L. Tsempales in Memory of George Tsempales