aaus-list @ ukrainianstudies.org -- [aaus-list] CfP: Orthodoxy and Europ. Integration,Leuven 15.-17.9.11 (15.4.)

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The International Research Project 'Old Borders - New Frontiers:
Orthodox Christianity and the European Integration' (located at the
University of Muenster, Germany, and the Institute for Eastern
Christian Studies, Nijmegen, Netherlands, in cooperation with Russian
State University for Humanities (RGGU) Moscow, Russia and Babes-
Bolyai University of Cluj, Romania) invites to the International
Conference on September 15-17, 2011 in Leuven (Belgium) and Brussels

'Orthodox Christian Tradition and the Integration of Europe'

By 2005, with the enlargement of the European Union, Orthodox
Christianity has become a significant religious player along with
other Christian confessions in Europe: Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and
Cyprus have an Orthodox majority, but Eastern rite Christians also
form a significant minority in countries like Finland, Poland,
Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, and in the diaspora communities of quite
a number of Western European Countries. The general attitude of the
Orthodox Churches towards Europe, however, remains ambiguous, as has
become obvious on various occasions. 'Tradition' and 'traditional
values' are terms mostly referred to when representatives of Orthodox
Christianity critically comment key developments that are related to
European Integration. Orthodox Christian tradition seems, at first
sight, to be fundamentally opposed to crucial elements of Modernity
which are simultaneously held to be central for the European
Integration, such as democracy, human rights, market economy, secular
state, religious pluralism etc. However, this impression has been
widely contested. Others have argued that it is precisely this
Orthodox tradition, with its understanding of human nature and with
its decentralized church structures, which offers multiple
possibilities to understand and practice democracy, religious
tolerance, human rights etc. Furthermore, opinions among Orthodox
theologians about what really forms the core of tradition are
anything but uniform, oscillating between a rather concrete set of
rites and ethical norms, and a mystical understanding of the presence
of the Holy Spirit within the Church. Against this background, this
conference wants to address a set of questions that emerge from this
apparent ambiguity, exploring the possibilities and chances as much
as the dangers and hindrances for European Integration that all might
be connected with the impact of Christian Orthodox tradition on elite
discourses and popular attitudes among various European (Orthodox)
communities. Crucial questions in this respect might be: What is to
be understood by the very notion 'Eastern Orthodox tradition' and how
is it theologically interpreted in connection to 'European values'?
How does Eastern Orthodox theology, on this base, refer to such
issues as human rights, economic development, secular politics,
religious pluralism etc.? What are possible consequences for social
or political activities of Eastern Orthodox clergy and laity given
the variety of their approaches? What are possible political and
cultural alliances in which Eastern Orthodoxy (or: Orthodoxies) can
be involved on the European public arena?

The conference seeks to bring together experts at different levels
from all disciplines, such as theology and philosophy, church
history, religious studies, sociology, political science, cultural
studies etc. Theoretical approaches, general explorations, and case
studies are equally welcome. Proposals should be submitted by April
15th, 2011 to

Alfons Bruening PhD, Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Radboud
University Nijmegen (NL): www.ru.nl/ivoc, e-mail:

For those whose paper proposals have been accepted costs for travel
and accommodation can be fully covered.

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