Recent News

Get Informed
0
0
0
s2sdefault

On May 10-12 an International Conference on “ Orthodoxy and Fundamentalism” was successfully held in Belgrade. The conference was organized by the Volos Academy for Theological Studies (Volos, Greece) in cooperation with The Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity (Belgrade), the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University (New York), the Chair of Orthodox Theology, Münster University (Münster, Germany), the Romanian Institute for Inter-Orthodox, Inter-Confessional and Inter-Religious Studies (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), theSt Andrews Biblical Theological Institute (Moscow, Russia), theSankt Ignatios Orthodox Theological Academy (Stockholm), the European Forum of Orthodox Schools of Theology (Brussels), the Center for Philosophy and Theology (Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina), and in cooperation with Dom omladine Beograda (Belgrade).

After the welcoming addresses and the opening remarks by Sergej Beuk (Dom omladine Beograda), Dr.Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Volos Academy for Theological Studies), Dr. Davor Džalto (The Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity) and Minister Vladan Vukosavljević (Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information), the conference started with the first session chaired by Dr. Davor Džalto. Bishop Jovan Culibrk (Orthodox Church of Serbia) offered some general and introductory reflections on the timely relevance of the conference’s topic, while Dr. Tarek Mitri (American University of Beirut, Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon) spoke on “Conservatism, Fundamentalism and Identity Politics in the Arab World,” in which he argued that identity politics tend to blur the distinction between conservatism and fundamentalism. Strengthening communal identity brings conservatives and fundamentalists closer together. At the same time, division among Christians remains noticeable between those who seek spiritual and ethical resources to transcend identity politics and those unable to disentangle their religion from communalism and draw their political capital from disillusionment, resentment and fear.

During the first morning session of May 11, chaired by Dr. Michael Hjälm (Sankt Ignatios Orthodox Academy, Stockholm), Rev. Dr. Vladan Perisic (Professor, Faculty of Theology, University of Belgrade; Director, Center for Theology and Philosophy, Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina) presented a paper on the “Theoretical Presuppositions of Christian Fundamentalism”. These presuppositions share mostly unconscious and acquired beliefs, habits and dispositions, which constitute the spirit and atmosphere within which a fundamentalistic attitude gets developed and manifested. Dr. George Demacopoulos (Professor, Fordham University; Co-Director Orthodox Christian Studies Center, New York) presented a topic on “The Recent Invention of ‘Traditional’ Orthodoxy” in which he argued that the emergence of “traditional Orthodoxy” as a distinctive and constitutive marker of authentic Orthodox identity during the twentieth century should be understood as the byproduct of an inner-community struggle for meaning and relevance in the wake of centuries of theological dependence/resistance to Western Christianity. Mrs. Katerina Pekridou (Theological Dialogue Secretary, Conference of European Churches, Brussels) spoke on “Fundamentalism and Ecumenism,” in which she explored Orthodox fundamentalism from a theological perspective and attempts to outline both of its key elements and impact on the engagement of the Orthodox Church in ecumenical dialogue.

At the second morning session chaired by Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Volos Academy), Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou (Professor, Fordham University; Co-Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center, New York) spoke on “Pluralism, Secularism and Fundamentalism,” where he offered an analysis of the concept of the “secular,” providing then a theological argument for a Christian secularism understood in terms of radical pluralism. Rev. Dr. Vasileios Thermos (Child and Adult Psychiatrist; Assistant Professor, Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Athens, Greece) in his “Fundamentalism: Theology in the service of psychosis” argued that religious fundamentalism is criticized theologically as an absolutization of elements of the created order which hinders the access to the uncreated, while it is also approached psychoanalytically as the “psychosis” of the Church, in terms of a) introducing paranoia and aggression, b) lack of self-criticism, c) prevalence of an inner unconscious representation of a bad persecutory god. The last speaker of this session Dr. Petar Jevremović (Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade) spoke on “Epistemology of the Radicalized Faith,” in which he argued that there is something deeply paranoid (narcissistic) within the fundamentalist mental structure. Being radical in the matters of faith implies being absolutely in possession of the divine knowledge.

At the first afternoon session chaired by Mr. Cezar Marksteiner-Ungureanu (Romanian Institute for Inter-Orthodox, Inter-Confessional, Inter-Religious Studies, INTER, Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Dr. Predrag Dragutinović (Professor, Faculty of Theology, University of Belgrade) presented a paper on “Reading without interpretation? Fundamentalism and Biblical Hermeneutics,” in which he discussed the hermeneutical foundation of a fundamentalist treating of the biblical texts within the Orthodox biblical scholarship and theology and the need in the Orthodox educational system to promote historical-critical methodology which protects theology against inherent ideological hazards, demarcates perspectives, and renders theology culturally compatible. Rev. Dr. Christoph d’Aloisio (Director, Institut de théologie orthodoxe St. Jean le théologien, Brussels) in his “Fundamentalist Hermeneutics as a Risk in Education,” analysed first of a practical situation (the case of Belgium) and then he aimed at drawing some general conclusions about what is at stake when one faces fundamentalist hermeneutics in the frame of a State school system. Dr. Vasilios N. Makrides (Professor, University of Erfurt, Germany) spoke on “The Notion of Orthodoxy as the Sole True Faith: A Particular Source of Orthodox Christian Rigorism,” in which he attempted to consider another specific aspect of the present discussion, namely the notion of Orthodoxy as representing the sole true religious faith in the entire world in order to show how this notion of Orthodoxy and its literal understanding is closely related to the rise of Orthodox rigorism.

At the first morning session of May 12, chaired by Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou (Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University, NY), Dr. Haralambos Ventis (Assistant Professor, School of Theology, University of Athens, Greece) spoke on “Fundamentalism in the Orthodox Church: Intrinsic or Transient?” in which he attempted to identify a number of the thorny obstacles to Orthodoxy’s further growth, evolution, and relevance, assuming that their pious endorsement and prolongation in the spirit of traditional confessional triumphalism will only render this great faith more and more irrelevant and will further sink it to the margins of the civilized world as one more irresponsible, toxic belief system perilous to democracy, freedom, and the open society. Dr. Brandon Gallaher (Lecturer, University of Exeter, UK) presented the “Conversion to Orthodoxy in North America and Orthodox Fundamentalism: A Personal View,” in which he explored the phenomenon of Orthodox fundamentalism drawing on considerations on the history of non-Orthodox conversion to Orthodoxy in North America and Europe, sociological reflection on the basically modernist cast of mind of religious fundamentalism and the author’s own twenty-five year experience in Orthodoxy as a convert in many countries. Dr. Frances Kostarelos (Professor, Governor’s State University, Illinois, USA) spoke on the “Conflicting Greek Orthodox Christian Discourses on Fundamentalism and Fragmenting Greek Orthodox Church Institutions in the USA,” in which she examined the use of the emic and etic term fundamentalism articulated among Orthodox Christian laity, clergy, and scholars seeking to explain the influence of Elder Ephraim’s beliefs and practices on Orthodox identity, parish life, and institutions.

During the second morning session chaired by Dr. Alexei Bodrov (St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute, Moscow), Mr. Sergei Chapnin (University of Innsbruck, Austria; Former editor of the Magazine of the Moscow Patriarchate, Russia) spoke on “Maltida & Maltiding: The Rise and Fall of the Radical Orthodox Fundamentalism in Russia,” in which he tried to assess the radicalization of some Orthodox groups in Russia, closely connected with the religious justification of violence, discussing the fact that the official Church prefers not to notice the Orthodox radicals, and does not want to give their actions a clear assessment. Dr. Anastasia Mitrofanova (Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities; Russian Orthodox University) in her “Fundamentalism in the Ideology and Practice of the Orthodox Political Movements in Contemporary Russia,” demonstrated that fundamentalism is not a form of religiosity but a distinctive religious ideology concentrated on the idea of winning back a society that becomes more and more “permissive,” and less and less corresponding with religious demands. Dr. Katerina Bauer (Assistant Professor, Charles University of Prague) in her “Two Examples of Non-fundamentalist but rooted spirituality: Mother Maria Skobtsova and Alexander Men” explored a middle way between the fundamentalist and extreme liberal reactions to the encounter between religious tradition and modernity, by offering Mother Maria Skobtsova and Father Alexander Men as examples of how to moderate those two positions: how to stay deeply rooted in Orthodox tradition while adjusting it to both the present and the future.

At the concluding session chaired by Dr. Brandon Gallaher (Exeter University, UK), Dr. Petre Maican (University of Aberdeen, UK) presented the topic “Giving the Laity its Voice Back: One Way to tackle fundamentalism in the Eastern Orthodox Church” in which he argued that it is essential to establish structures for intra-ecclesial dialogue by proposing six dispositions that the participants should exhibit and one doctrinal criterion for assessing if the results of the dialogue remain within the boundaries of the Orthodox tradition. Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Director, Volos Academy for Theological Studies; Lecturer, Hellenic Open University; Research Fellow, KU Leuven) spoke on “Eschatology and Fundamentalism,” in which he explored the importance of eschatology for theology and Church life, and its crucial implications both for the relationship of Orthodoxy to modernity, and for the challenge of fundamentalism which is a distorted reaction to modernity; an attempt to return to past structures and cultural forms without “remembering the future.” The last conference speaker, Dr. Davor Džalto (President, The Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity, Belgrade, Serbia; Professor, The American University of Rome, Italy), in his “How to be the right kind of ‘fundamentalist’?” explored the concepts of “fundamentalism,” “extremism” and “radicalism” and the ways in which they can be used to describe both the “negative” and “positive” aspects/manifestations of (political) religiosity, while he sought to affirm a “non-fundamentalist (Christian) radicalism,” which would avoid the negative implications of “fundamentalism” taking into account the need to preserve/affirm the “radicalism” of eschatologically-oriented Christian faith.

 

To read the Opening Greetings to the Conference by Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis click here

2018_05_18_83
2018_05_18_93
2018_05_18_94
2018_05_18_109
2018_05_18_114
2018_05_18_126
2018_05_18_133
2018_05_18_135
2018_05_18_138
2018_05_18_139
2018_05_18_143
2018_05_18_146
2018_05_18_148
2018_05_18_149
2018_05_22_1
2018_05_22_2
2018_05_22_3
2018_05_22_4
2018_05_22_5
2018_05_22_6
2018_05_22_7
2018_05_22_8
2018_05_22_9
2018_05_22_10
2018_05_22_11
2018_05_22_12
2018_05_22_13
2018_05_22_14
2018_05_22_15
2018_05_22_16
2018_05_22_17
2018_05_22_18
2018_05_22_19
2018_05_22_20
2018_05_22_21
2018_05_22_22
2018_05_22_23
2018_05_22_24
2018_05_22_25
2018_05_22_26
2018_05_22_27
2018_05_22_28
2018_05_22_29
2018_05_22_30
2018_05_22_31
2018_05_22_32
2018_05_22_33
2018_05_22_34
2018_05_22_35
2018_05_22_36
2018_05_22_37
2018_05_22_38
2018_05_22_39
2018_05_22_40
2018_05_22_41
2018_05_22_42
2018_05_22_43
2018_05_22_44
2018_05_22_45
2018_05_22_46
2018_05_22_47
2018_05_22_48
2018_05_22_49
2018_05_22_50
2018_05_22_51
2018_05_22_52
2018_05_22_53
2018_05_22_54
2018_05_22_55
2018_05_22_56
2018_05_22_57
2018_05_22_58
2018_05_22_59
2018_05_22_60
2018_05_22_61
2018_05_22_62
2018_05_22_63
2018_05_22_64
2018_05_22_65
2018_05_22_66
2018_05_22_67
2018_05_22_68
2018_05_22_69
2018_05_22_70
2018_05_22_71
2018_05_22_72
2018_05_22_73
2018_05_22_74
2018_05_22_75
2018_05_22_76
2018_05_22_77
2018_05_22_78
2018_05_22_79
2018_05_22_80
2018_05_22_81
2018_05_22_82
2018_05_22_83
2018_05_22_84
2018_05_22_85
2018_05_22_86
2018_05_22_87
2018_05_22_88
2018_05_22_89
2018_05_22_90
2018_05_22_91
2018_05_22_92
2018_05_22_93
2018_05_22_94
2018_05_22_95
2018_05_22_96
2018_05_22_97
2018_05_22_98
2018_05_22_99
2018_05_22_100
2018_05_22_101
2018_05_22_102
2018_05_22_103
2018_05_22_104
2018_05_22_105
2018_05_22_106
2018_05_22_107
2018_05_22_108
2018_05_22_109
2018_05_22_110
2018_05_22_111
2018_05_22_112
2018_05_22_113
2018_05_22_114
2018_05_22_115
2018_05_22_116
2018_05_22_117
2018_05_22_118
2018_05_22_119
2018_05_22_120
2018_05_22_121
2018_05_22_122
2018_05_22_123
2018_05_22_124
2018_05_22_125

Event Callendar

Announcements

PanHellenic Conference Figures of Christian Narrative Texts: Theological and Sec...

18 April 2019
PanHellenic Conference Figures of Christian Narrative Texts: Theological and Secular Approaches

Volos Academy for Theological Studies PanHellenic Conference...

Scientific Meeting on the topic “Church and Artistic Production in Thessaly duri...

01 March 2019
Scientific Meeting on the topic “Church and Artistic Production in Thessaly during 16th century”

Larissa Ephorate of Antiquities, in collaboration with Regio...

Charles Taylor will deliver a public lecture in Athens, on the topic: “Christian...

25 May 2018
Charles Taylor will deliver a public lecture in Athens, on the topic:  “Christianity in the secular age of the West”

For the first time Charles Taylor will deliver a public lect...

3rd International Musicological and Psaltic Conference on Psaltic Art

05 May 2018
3rd International Musicological and Psaltic Conference on Psaltic Art

Volos Academy for Theological Studies Department of Psaltic...