Nebojša Stanković

2018 - 2019 FELLOWS

Nebojša Stanković

  • University: University of Belgrade
  • Research Topic: Narthexes of Middle Byzantine Monastic Churches in Constantinople, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Mount Athos: Architecture and Function within the Stoudite Monasticism
  • E-mail: neb.stan@gmail.com

Nebojša Stanković is an architectural historian (PhD, Princeton University) and an architect (MArch, University of Belgrade). His main interests are Byzantine and medieval architecture and monumental art in relation to liturgy, ritual, and other functions, particularly in the monastic environment. The dissertation he defended in 2017, entitled “At the Threshold of the Heavens: The Narthex and Adjacent Spaces in Middle Byzantine Churches of Mount Athos (10th-11th Centuries) - Architecture, Function, and Meaning,” examines the relationship between monastic rites and devotional practices pertaining to the narthex and adjoining spaces, on one side, and architectural form and functional organization of these parts of the church, on the other. Besides providing an exposition of their architecture, the study seeks to explain various elements and features in the context of the seemingly growing importance of this part of the church building within the Middle Byzantine coenobitic monastery's organization and ritual.
Dr. Stanković's current research takes these issues further while turning to a wider geographical area of distribution of the Middle Byzantine (9th–12th C.) monastic narthex. The study is conceived as an examination of both architecture and written sources, aimed at exploring similarities and differences in the form and function of the narthex between several important monastic centers of the time and within the Stoudite monastic tradition. This main-stream monastic organization of the period seems to have had a major impact on the formation and dissemination of this particular part of the church building as the backdrop of certain liturgical and other customs. The project explores to what extent function shaped the spatial organization and architectural form, as well as if the organization and form, in turn, influenced the way services were performed. Furthermore, this study is hoped to help in tracing the mechanisms operating in the transmission of architectural forms and spatial habits, but also why some distinct divergences and idiosyncratic developments occurred.

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