St. Andrew's Biblical Theological Institute (Moscow, Russia)
Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation (Novi Sad, Serbia)
DELM – Development of Ecumenical Leadership in Mission Network
NELCEE – Network for Ecumenical Learning in Central and Eastern Europe
with the support of
ICCO - Kerk in Actie (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Invitation and Call for Papers
4–7 November 2015
THEME OF THE CONFERENCE
In contemporary Western and Eastern European societies (including post-soviet countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus) church and state are separated from each other, which implies that religion should not enter the domain of politics and ought to confine itself to the sphere of private life or, at most, to inculcate certain moral values in society. This, however, does not mean that religion is not involved in the process of taking political decisions and does not affect socio-political realities.
People engaged in political activities, including leading politicians, may belong to certain churches and hold their own religious views which can have a significant impact on their political thinking and actions. Moreover, in order to achieve their purposes, politicians can use (or misuse) religion to affect the masses. Religious rhetoric, often mixed with nationalistic, is actively employed in political propaganda and the church is expected to react to this, approvingly or disapprovingly.
Even if the church is not directly involved in politics, it cannot keep silence on political situations and political processes in society. However, very often the church is unable to give a clear answer to what is going on in the sphere of politics because it does not have a well-developed position. Critical theological reflection on politics is necessary here, and this is what political theology is about. Such a theology should especially be directed at denouncing any kind of injustice, both in the structures of a stable society and in situations of socio-political crisis (revolutions, wars and other kinds of conflicts).
The aim of the forthcoming conference is to discuss political theology (its scope, purposes, approaches, language, etc.) in different traditions and to see how it can contribute to building civil society in Eastern European countries.
In the course of the conference, it is intended to address the following questions:
This list does not exhaust all aspects of the topic announced in the title of the conference but provides a focus for expected discussion.
Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary (500 words at most) by e-mail to St. Andrew’s Institute by 1 September 2015. The Organizing Committee selects papers for the Conference and sends invitations to the speakers. The full text of all selected papers will have to be submitted by 1 November 2015. 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 20 minutes each. Registration forms 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
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
ORGANIZATION AND ACCOMMODATION
The conference will assemble on 4 November 2015 for a reception and opening ceremony in the evening. Participants will depart after breakfast on 7 November. Accommodation and meals will be provided by the organizers. Travel expenses (within Europe only) can be reimbursed.
Numbers are limited and early registration is strongly advised. Registration forms can be found on St. Andrew's website www.standrews.ru and must be sent to the above address.