The Greek Orthodox Church and Education in New York City
A Department of Religion Roundtable Discussion
Dr. Fevronia Soumakis, Teachers College, Columbia University
Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 2:30-4:30pm, Dickson Hall 430
Today, as in the past, immigrant groups are confronted with issues of assimilation and cultural, religious, or linguistic maintenance. Both ethnic and religious stakeholders have historically challenged and shaped these issues within the sphere of education in the US. Among the adherents of the Greek Orthodox Church, these challenges have been amplified, especially as the liberation of immigration laws in the 1960s prompted a second wave of Greek immigrants to settle in the diverse boroughs of New York City. Through educational institutions and initiatives, the Greek Orthodox Church in America positioned itself as the “guardian” of a cultural, religious, and linguistic tradition by promoting a renewal of a Hellenic Orthodox identity within a religiously and ethnically pluralistic society. Dr. Soumakis’ research in this area helps broaden our understanding of the ways in which diverse religious traditions and institutions complement the contours of the American educational landscape.