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REMINDER

International Conference

Orthodox Christianity
and Identity Politics

IDP – Liudgerhaus, Münster, Germany

June 28 – July 1, 2024

The international Conference on the topic “Orthodox Christianity and Identity Politics” starts on Friday, June 28, 2024, 16:30, in Münster, Germany (at the IDP – Liudgerhaus, Überwasserkirchplatz 3). The Conference is organized by the Chair of Orthodox Theology, Center for Religious Studies, University of Münster, in cooperation with the Volos Academy for Theological Studies (Greece), the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University (New York, USA), the Sankt Ignatios Orthodox Theological Academy (Stockholm, Sweden), the Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity (Belgrade, Serbia), the Center for Philosophy and Theology of Trebinje (Bosnia-Herzegovina), the St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute (Moscow, Russia) and the European Forum of Orthodox Schools of Theology – EFOST (Brussels, Belgium). The language of the Conference will be English.

The Conference aims to explore the changes that have occurred in Orthodox Christianity, resulting in a radical swift from a universal, catholic, and ecumenical vision, to a number of nation-centered narratives, where the Church is considered as a fundamental feature of each nation. This has led to profound divisions among the national churches and jurisdictions, evident even today in various instances (Ukraine, the Orthodox Diaspora, etc.), thus rendering religious nationalism the most serious problem that Orthodoxy has been facing since the fall of Byzantium. Living today in a multinational, pluralistic, and postmodern society, Orthodoxy seems to have lost its theological and spiritual resources, deeply rooted in its patristic and Eucharistic tradition, in favor of a rhetoric of “identities” and an outdated religious tribalism.

Against this background, the goals of the forthcoming conference include the investigation of the theological background that underlies the connection between the Orthodox Church and the nation; the exploration of the historical and theological parameters as to how to deal with the challenges raised by the nationalization of Orthodoxy; the study of the process and the concrete circumstances that have led to the understanding of the Orthodox faith in terms of culture and ancestral heritage; the examination of the role played by the concept of identity in shaping the ecclesial and theological perspective and the way in which this concept has been used to construct the ethno-religious narrative; the exploration of the use of Eastern Orthodoxy as an identity marker that affects the Eucharistic and eschatological self-consciousness and the unity of global Orthodoxy; and the inquiry of the impact of the above on the formation of an Orthodox anti-Westernism as well as on the still ambivalent relationship between Orthodoxy and Modernity.

The timetable of the Conference can be found at the address https://tinyurl.com/4scnhhx3, while the Conference booklet with the CV’s of the participants and their abstracts is at https://tinyurl.com/yda8nmn5.

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