Invitation and Call for Papers
REFORMATION, CHURCH AND SOCIETY
In 2017 the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation will be celebrated. Originally aimed at a restoration of the primitive Christian gospel (which reformers considered to have been obscured through centuries of human innovation), the Reformation gradually affected all spheres of social life. In medieval society, religion was closely intertwined with politics, economics and culture, so the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation had a profound impact not only on Western Christianity but also on Western society in general. It initiated a series of radical changes in the West and, further, all over the globe, so the world as we see it today has been to a significant extent shaped by the ideas that emerged during and in the wake of the Reformation.
Unlike the West, the Eastern (Orthodox) church has never undergone anything similar to the Reformation. However, the Western Reformation and the modernization that followed it had significant repercussions for Russia and other Orthodox countries as well. Thus, the reforms of Peter the Great that led to radical changes in Russian society were based on Western models formed in the course of the Reformation.
In a wider sense, reformation can be interpreted as an ongoing (over the last five centuries) process in European society that affects all its elements – not only religion – and brings about deep changes such as the transition from traditional to modern (and, further, “post-modern”) forms of social life. In his recent book A Secular Age (2007; a Russian translation is to be published by St. Andrew’s in 2016) the renowned Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor takes such a wider vision of reformation and analyses modern and post-modern western society from this perspective.
How is reformation, understood in this way, revealed in today’s society? Can we connect those radical changes that are taking place around us with the processes that began in Europe five hundred years ago? What is the peculiarity of the Russian situation? Can the shifts in Russian society over the last 100 years be interpreted as a kind of reformation? What is the role of religion in this process? Is the church in Russia only an object of general changes in society or does it contribute to the very process of change as an active agent? The aim of the forthcoming conference is to discuss such issues and to compare the process of reformation (in a wider sense) in Russia and in the West.
Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary (500 words at most) by email to St. Andrew’s Institute by 15 October 2016. The Organizing Committee selects papers for the Conference and sends invitations to the speakers. The full texts of all selected papers will have to be submitted by 1 December 2016. The working languages of the conference will be Russian and English.
Papers are scheduled for 20 minutes each. Some of the papers will be published in St. Andrew’s quarterly Pages: Theology, Culture, Education. Registration form can be found on St. Andrew’s website www.standrews.ru. Registrations, summaries and papers should be sent to:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
The Conference will assemble on Sunday, 11 December for the opening ceremony in the evening. Participants will depart after breakfast on Wednesday, 14 December. The organizers can assist the speakers in finding suitable accommodation in Moscow. In some cases scholarships to cover accommodation and other expenses can be given upon request.