Ecumenical Theology and Hermeneutics
in the Post-Modern Age
16–19 October 2013
Theme of the conference
In October 2012, St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute and the Monastery of Bose organized an International Conference on church unity, which was timed to the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, an epochal event in the history of modern Christianity. To continue the fruitful discussion initiated by the 2012 meeting, we have decided to organize another conference on a similar theme.
The restoration of unity among all Christians was proclaimed one of the principal concerns of Vatican II. This new attitude towards other Churches clearly expressed by Vatican II, opened the door to active development of ecumenical theology – not only in the Roman Catholic Church but also in the Ancient Oriental, the Orthodox and the Protestant Churches.
Closely related to ecumenical theology is ecumenical hermeneutics. As is stated in one of the key documents issued by Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, each local church “is called to be a hermeneutical community, that is, a community within which there is a commitment to explore and interpret anew the given texts, symbols and practices.” But as the churches engage in ecumenical dialogue, each church and tradition opens itself also to being interpreted by other churches and traditions. “The ecumenical movement provides particular opportunities for the churches to reflect together on issues of interpretation and
communication for the sake of ecclesial unity and the renewal of human community.”
However, as Cardinal Walter Kasper, former President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity noted in 2003, “after the first rather euphoric phase of the ecumenical movement which followed the Second Vatican Council, the last decade has seen us experiencing signs of tiredness, disillusionment and stagnation.” Unfortunately, the situation does not seem to have changed much today, ten years since then.
The aim of the forthcoming Conference is to reflect on the ways of interpretation of texts, symbols and practices in Eastern and Western Christian traditions; to identify current impediments to further development of ecumenical dialogue; and to discuss the possibility of new theological and hermeneutical approaches which could be applied in the situation of contemporary, “post-modern” world and would allow to overcome existing obstacles and to establish better mutual understanding between different churches.
Papers and Publication
Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary (500 words at most) by email to St. Andrew’s Institute by 1 August 2013. 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 October 2013. The working language of the conference will be English.
Upon arrival at the conference every participant will receive summaries of all the papers and the conference programme. Papers are scheduled for 30 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:
St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute
Jerusalem St. 3, Moscow, 109316, Russia
Tel/Fax: +7 495 6702200; +7 495 6707644
Organization and accomodations
The Conference will assemble on Wednesday, 16 October for the opening ceremony in the evening. Participants will depart after breakfast on Saturday, 19 October.
The Conference will be held in the recognised spiritual and academic centre – the Monastery of Bose. Accommodation and meals will be provided by the organizers.