“People all over the world are talking about your faith.” (Rom 1, 8)
This international conference is intended for everyone interested in the issues of the mutual relationship between the Christian East and West, that has crystallized in the Eastern Catholic Churches, whose identity includes elements of the Roman Catholic tradition as well as the traditions of the Eastern, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The aim of the conference is to discuss the self-identification of these ecclesial communities in light of their development throughout their history. And in particular of the events preceding their unification with the Roman Catholic Church (and of course the other churches sui iuris in communion with Roman Catholic Church) and those following. We invite contributions from theologians or clergy of these churches, as well as from all scholars interested in this topic. Our interest is to deepen the dialogue between the Christian East and West and to reveal differences, but also to find ways of mutual understanding. Topics will cover all the major theological disciplines and fields (biblical theology, practical theology, dogmatics, church history, spirituality, missiology, ecclesiastical art, etc.).
Eastern Catholic Theology on the Way of Unification
The program may be subject to change.
Hussite Theological Faculty Charles University
Pacovská 350/4, Prague 4, Czech Republic, 140 21
8:50 Welcome to the participants
9:00 OPENING LECTURE (ONLINE)
What can Christian West and East learn from each other?
Dean of the Theology-Philosophy Faculty of the Ukrainian Catholic University
In this short presentation, I will explore how we are defined not only by the self but also by the other. I will show that Identity is always about being different from somebody else. Thus, we will see that East and West are co- dependent categories. Also, I will speak about how East and West are, from one side, constitutive of each other and how, at the same time, East and West are relative categories. Finally, I will share some reflections on what East and West should work on to be true witnesses of the Lord in this shaken world.
10:00 COFFEE BREAK
10:20 KARMA MARGA: A model of the Church from Praxis (ONLINE)
Rector, St.John Paul II Minor Seminary, Kerala, India
Professor of Ecumenism in Mary Matha Major Seminary, Thrissur, Kerala, India
Professor of Major World Religions in Ghent, Belgium
Model of the Church – “Karma marga” The ecclesiological discussion after 2nd Vatican Council, opened a new horizon for the understanding of the Church in the whole world. Hence, the mission and charisma of the Church has got more clear and specific vision. This understanding of the Church has got a fantastic and remarkable development even in the pluralistic countries like India. Nevertheless, the historical traditional understanding of church has to be redefined and expressed by using the Indian categorical term. The famous models of the Church of Avery Cardinal Dulles - (1) Institution, (2) Mystical Communion, (3) Sacrament, (4) Herald, and (5) Servant – is the best models ever one can use enlighten the understanding of the church in ecclesiology. Though these models explained by Dulles, it is more indispensable to use the contextual categories to explain the theology of the Church in a pluralistic country like India. So we try to give a new model for the church basing on the Indian categories and situation where we have the strong deep rooted multi religious context and massive poverty, social discrimination, political corruption and exploitation. Hence, it is right to develop a model of the Church which could be relevant to this situation of the context. Aiming at this, an Indian – contextual model ‘Karma marga’ is depicted as the best model for the Church especially in the pluralistic contextual religious situation in India. This argument can be ascertained and authenticated from the traditional epics and writings, found in the Indian Hindu theology and from the authentic teaching of the church. It is the attempt one can ascertain and confirm. Hence, I try to present Church as "Karma marga"
10:50 Canonical unification of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches according to the pan-Orthodox encyclical letters
Catholic Theological Faculty, First Faculty of Medicine Charles University, Prague
The so-called Great Schism is an ever-present problem. The contribution is outgoing from the assumption of the necessity to define the exact points of the canonical aspects of the schism. It uses Roman Catholic and pan- Orthodox documents from the 19th century (the Encyclicals of the Eastern Patriarchs of 1848 and 1895). He concludes on their continuing relevance and examines the applicability of the solutions they offer in the contemporary context.
11:20 Exegesis on the Covenant Renewal in Neh 8:1-18 (ONLINE)
Cyriac John Valiyakunnumpurathe
Paurastya Vidyapitham, Vadavathoor, Kottayam
The paper is on the theme of the Covenant Renewal in the post-exilic period. When the people of Judah returned from Babylonian exile, they had to rebuild the destructed Temple of Jerusalem. For this purpose, prophets and the scribes, like Ezra prepared them to rebuild the Temple and infact Nehemiah the cupbearer of Artaxerxes rebuilt the city walls of Jerusalem. The completion of the building projects is to be done in the final dedication of the Temple and the city walls. For this the Ezra urges to renew their bond with Yahweh by reading out the Torah of Moses which is followed by the response of the people of God. This is again modified with the penitential hymn that is in Neh 9:6-38. This ideology of the covenant renewal has contributed to the writings of the Former Prophets, like Joshua, in whom we notice the same structure and content of the Text in Josh 24. The ideology of conquering the land and the subsequent settlement, moreover the Exodus narrative have their background in the covenant renewal ceremony of Ezra- Nehemiah. This event has become the cradle of Judaism, whereby people observed the law of Sabbath and other Feasts in order to be the worshippers of One Yahweh, the King of Israel.
11:50 LUNCH BREAK
13:00 Lazarus Moore and the Westernization of the Coptic Christianity
Department of Communication Studies Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology Palacký
The Coptic Orthodox Church has undergone in the 21st century the wave of modern renaissance in the field of development of doctrine, spiritual life and structure of the Church. Western influence embodied in the person of Lazarus Moore plays a prominent role in inspiring Matta el-Meskeen to build the new theological paradigm for the 21st century, staying behind the Coptic renaissance. The objective of the presentation is to envisage the ecumenical potential of Matta el-Meskeen´s theology from the Catholic perspective.
13:30 Christology in the liturgical texts of the Coptic Orthodox Church (ONLINE)
St. Mary and St. Cyril Coptic Orthodox Church, Liverpool
The investigation of Christological elements in the Liturgical Theology of the Oriental Orthodox communion, and in the Coptic Orthodox tradition in particular, is important because it represents a living and popular expression of Christological understanding. The rule of lex orandi, lex credendi points to the liturgical tradition
as a significant means of discovering what a community says about Christ, not only in the controversial past but in the ecumenically directed present. Progress on the way of unification requires a greater mutual comprehension of Christological perspectives and language more than almost any other issue. The detailed consideration of the texts of the liturgies, sacraments, prayers and hymns of the Coptic Orthodox Church allows the living Christology of this community to be discovered and described. This study has focused especially on the texts of the liturgies, the sacraments, and hymns connected to the major Feasts of the Lord,
but other liturgical materials in contemporary use in the Coptic Orthodox Church have also been referenced for their Christological significance. All of these represent liturgical texts which are in ordinary use in every congregation of the Coptic Orthodox Church. These materials illustrate the continuing and popular
understanding of Christ as being fully divine and fully human without confusion or division, and united in the one divine person of the Word of God incarnate without change. This research is important because it extends the ecumenical dialogue beyond the technical and controversial theological texts of the past and present and
considers the Christology embodied in the universally experienced prayers of the Coptic Orthodox Church. It would be valuable to engage in a wider analysis of Christological concepts in the liturgical materials of the other Oriental Orthodox communities as the basis for better representing their living Christology, and as a
contribution to mutual understanding of East and West.
14:00 Mary the ‘Ever-Virgin’ at the Councils of Constantinople II (553) and Lateran (649): Meanings and Perspectives
Catholic Theological Faculty Charles University, Prague
Both East and West Churches confess Mary as „Theotokos“ and „Aeiparthenos“ (Mother of God and Ever-Virgin). This paper will focus primarily on the latter Mariological title, which is also specified as „virginitas ante partum, in partu et post partum“ (Mary being named the Ever-Virgin, i.e. before, during and after giving birth to Christ). This title has a long history with both Eastern and Western Fathers, however its precise definition might be understood in different ways. Western dogmatic manuals identify the fundamental moments of this Mariological doctrine as the Second Council of Constantinople (553), the Lateran Council (649) and the Third Council of Constantinople (680). This paper will examine what exactly was promulgated at these Councils, analyzing the particular canons on the subject in their historical and theological context (Neochalcedonism, reference to Three chapters’ controversy, papal and imperial authority with regards to the ecumenical councils and their outcome, problematic reception of the dogmas, political situation, reaction to Monothelitism, etc.). The aim is to evaluate the impact of these conciliar declarations in the context of the legitimacy of these (not always genuinely ecumenical) synods for Western and Eastern Churches, having taken into regard the authoritative nature of this doctrine and its theological implications that raise further questions about the studied Mariological title. The key question will be to analyze the relation of this Mariological testimony to Christology and specifically to the Christological dogmas of those and previous councils. Special focus will be on the term „incorruptible“ and its reference to Mary´s identity as Virgin and Mother. More detailed analysis of the Greek and Latin textual versions of the studied canons and their translations in particular can help to illuminate what the Church at that time wanted to convey as its main message and what exactly according to those dogmas should define the orthodox faith.
14:30 COFFEE BREAK
14:50 Gregory of Narek: Universal Key Between East and West (ONLINE)
Matenadaran– Mesrop Mashtots Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts
A medieval Armenian monk and theologian, who spent most of his life at the monastery of Narekavank, St. Gregory of Narek (c. 945-1003) wrote a number of works, including a substantial corpus of liturgical and devotional poetry. Gregory’s renown rests primarily on the excellence of his Book of Lamentation, a codex of
predominantly penitential prayers from the closing years of his life and reflecting the height of his spiritual and literary attainment. They are quite important works for the study of medieval Armenian lyric poetry and of the liturgical development of the time. The universal importance of Gregory’s Book of Lamentation for East and
West is examined from the following perspectives: First, Gregory of Narek was the prominent chronicler of the Narekian School of poetic art and developed the literary traditions of that school. In those traditions, spiritual works had moral, epistemological, aesthetic, and generally ontological significance. The main ideas of Eastern Christian mysticism are at the core of the prayer book of Gregory of Narek. These views were formed on the basis of ancient and Neoplatonic science and philosophy. Second, Gregory of Narek remains largely unknown in western scholarship on medieval spirituality – regrettably so, since he deserves to be anthologized among its best representatives. On April 12, 2015, in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, Pope Francis declared Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Catholic Church, the thirty-sixth person to attain that venerable status. Such a plea for martyrdom and holiness was not accidental. The event was historic. The holiness, intercession, and legacy of Gregory of Narek became a source of spiritual education and life transformation in the Catholic world. With this, the cosmic sanctity of Gregory of Narek became a living reality and teaching, a source of blessing and enlightenment for many. Humanity got a great opportunity to learn from a thousand-year-old saint and be guided by his writings. The proclamation of Gregory of Narek as a Doctor of the Church of Rome became an occasion for new editions, translations, studies, and interpretations of the Book of Lamentation. Thus, the Book of Lamentation is the highest speech and thinking, theology and philosophy, but most importantly, it is the result of a powerful spiritual experience.
15:20 The Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro as guardians and propagators of the legacies of SS Gregory of Narek and Nersēs of Klay
Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music NOVA University of Lisbon
Situated strategically between East and West, the Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro (which was founded in Constantinople in 1701 and soon moved to Venice) sought to serve as a cross-cultural and spiritual bridge – reviving, preserving and propagating the best of Armenian heritage, sharing it with an eager European audience and reinvigorating ancient traditions with Western scholarship and art. It also provided a vital connection between the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church. San Lazzaro was and remains a unique crucible – an island yet far from insular, sacred yet also humanist, patriotic as well as spiritual, Armenian as well as European. Moreover, due to its unique position in Venice, San Lazzaro was spared ransacking or destruction, boasting an uninterrupted liturgical and musical tradition of over three centuries. In this talk I shall seek to present an account of the enormous endeavour the Congregation undertook in the preservation, publication and propagation of the legacies of the two greatest Armenian mediaeval poet-musician Saints, namely Gregory of Narek (declared in 2015 as a Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Francis) and Nersēs “the Gracious” of Klay (who will be honoured in December 2023 at the Vatican with a conference and concert at the Sistine Chapel to be conducted by myself, to mark 850 years from the Saint’s passing). Both Saints had precocious Ecumenical visions; St. Gregory eschewed Christological controversies, composing his prayers for the whole of Christendom – all nations, men and women of all stations, and for his contemporaries as well as for future generations; and St. Nersēs was unsparing in his efforts to achieve unity between Eastern and Western Christendom, and sought renewal within the Armenian Church. It is thus unsurprising that these Saints were of major importance to the Mekhitarist Fathers and to their own mission. I shall discuss their work in gathering and collating manuscript sources; publishing editiones principes, translations and exegeses; keeping the compositions of the Saints vital within their liturgical practice; and preserving to this day melodies of old unattested elsewhere.
Catholic Theological Faculty Charles University
Thákurova 3, Prague 6, 160 00 Czech Republic
8:50 Welcome to the participants
9:00 OPENING LECTURE ONLINE
A deepening of Catholic identity among the clergy and faithful of the Eparchy of Mukachevo in the period after the Union of Uzhhorod (1646-1771)
Eparch of the Eparchy of Košice
The Union of Uzhhorod in 1646 is a specific phenomenon in the context of union attempts, different from other similar "Unions". The process of ecclesial identification of clergy and faithful here was gradual, underwent several developmental phases and was influenced by various external ecclesiastical, social and political factors. The lecture attempts to summarize the individual characteristics of this process and its specificity and compare it with other situations in the Church history.
10:00 COFFEE BREAK
10:20 Reception of Latin Christendom in Kyivan Rus’ (10th–12th Centuries) between Doctrinal Identity and Practical Considerations (ONLINE)
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Theology / Slovenian School Museum
This paper analyzes the main traits of reception of Latin Christendom in Kyivan Rus’, drawing from the notion of its confessional “otherness” in relation to the Eastern Orthodox norm. The mentioned reception is studied according to the East Slavic narrative sources written at the end of the eleventh and beginning of the twelfth centuries, i.e., directly after the “Great Schism” (1054) between Constantinople and Rome. The complexity of the Rus’ attitude towards Latin Christians on several levels is accentuated: 1) upholding the official Orthodoxy, following the Byzantine doctrinal themes as adopted in Church Slavic polemical literature, while,
simultaneously, 2) respecting practical considerations of dynastic ties between the East Slavic political elite and ruling families of the neighboring Latin world, 3) and venerating particular Latin saints. In this respect, special consideration is given to the travel diary on the Holy Land titled Life and Pilgrimage of Daniel, Hegumen of the Land of Rus’ serving as a prime example of encountering confessional differences. Daniel’s thematization of his confessional “other” in the Holy Land reveals a similar ambiguity in the case of Rus’ as a whole: on a declarative level, the polemical writings of the Kyivan metropolitan bishops testify about a negative position on the “Latin heresies”; on the other hand, common veneration of particular saints, such as Olaf of Norway or Magnus of Orkney, and decisions of the East Slavic princes confirm the permanence of contacts and willingness to cooperate with the neighboring Latin polities (Sweden, Poland, and Hungary) in forming dynastic marriages and military alliances.
10:50 The ecclesiology of restoring unity in the conception of the Eastern Churches from Central and Eastern Europe in the 16th-18th centuries (FRENCH ONLINE)
Faculty of Greek Catholic Theology, "Babeș-Bolyai" University Cluj-Napoca/Romania
After the ecclesiastical schism of 1054, the specific evolution of the Eastern Churches and the Roman Church becomes more and more visible. From polemical and apologetic theological positions, one reaches the cultivation of the alterity and the accentuation of resentment against the background of the historical events of the time. The decline of Constantinople’s influence in the context of territorial losses in the favor of the Ottomans and the centralization of the powers of the medieval states in the West was also projected on the Church. The East was organized on the basis of synodality and the relations between the suffragan hierarchies
that took shape throughout history, the fall of Constantinople (1453) freezing the internal evolution of the Greco-Byzantine rite under liturgical and disciplinary aspects. In the West, the Church emphasized its centralism around Rome, the Latin canonical corpus evolving in a unilateral direction, adapted to the legislation of medieval states. The attempts to restore the unity of the Church reached a form of reconciliation of the points of dogmatic divergence at the Council of Ferrara - Florence (1431–1449), which would become the model for the later Unions of Brest-Litovsk (1596) and Alba- Julia (1700). The split of Western Christianity during the Reformation (1517) led to the nuance of Roman centralism, the ecclesiological vision and canonical provisions of the Latin Church evolving according to the events of the time. The Eastern churches that re-enter in the unity of the Catholic Church faced the change of ecclesiological paradigm, being in a permanent struggle to preserve their own specificity and to affirm the unity, realizing an avant-la-lettre ecumenical theology, a pioneering work that it already offers a tradition of unity in diversity and a step towards the plenary unity of the Church of Christ. The greatest and most difficult problems were encountered between the 16th and 18th centuries in the territories where the main United Churches emerged that evolved into contemporary ecclesial structures, the efforts of hierarchs and theologians contributing to the evolution of the model of restoring the unity of the Church of Christ.
11:20 We, who mystically represent the cherubim: Different approaches to translating liturgical texts and music into the vernacular
Institute of Musicology, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Department of Musicology, Charles University, Prague
The principle that every nation should praise God in its own language is foundational to every Byzantine church. Unlike in the Roman church, Byzantine missions to neighboring nations also carried the initiative to translate the entire rite to their respective languages. This we know, among other sources, from the zealous disputes of the Slavonic apostles Constantine and Methodius against Roman scholars who accepted only three liturgical languages, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. What these hagiographic stories do not relate is that with the translation of text, music should also be taken into account. Medieval Slavonic books containing musical notation reveal that translations of hymns were made alongside the translation of liturgical music. The interplay of word and music within translation of the liturgy into vernacular languages is also current nowadays. Although translation studies is a developed field, there is no branch of musicology to deal with an analogous phenomenon in music. This is one of the reasons why every church chooses a different approach. The aim of this paper is to present three modern approaches in three different Byzantine churches—one Orthodox and two Catholic—to the translation of text and music in the liturgy: The Greek Orthodox Church in USA with English translations and Greek musical tradition, Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church with English translations but Slavonic musical tradition, and finally the Slovak Greek Catholic (Byzantine Catholic) Church with Slovak translations and Slavonic musical traditions. Even though all three approaches are different, a comparison of them could offer some guidelines for creating a more elaborate method for possible future translation projects, or even for reassessing existing ones. This might help to maintain two aspects of the translation process of liturgical text and music: the ongoing tradition of both music and text, and the mutual unity between the two.
11:50 LUNCH BREAK
13:00 Towards the mutual recognition of sacraments between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church (ONLINE)
Akademia Katolicka w Warszawie - Catholic Academy in Warsaw
The Catholic Church recognises the validity of all sacraments administered in the non-Catholic Eastern Churches because they have apostolic succession.Furthermore, in Catholic theology, a sacrament can exist when it is properly administered, according to the teaching of St Augustine: "The Word accedes to the element and becomes a sacrament". On the question of the recognition of sacraments in non-Catholic Churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches take generally the same position as the Roman Catholic Church. The above criteria are also used by the Orthodox Churches of the Slavic and Romanian traditions, which, as a rule, recognise the validity of the baptism of Roman Catholics, as well as Anglicans and Protestants, provided they have been properly administered. Some Orthodox therefore question the validity of the administration of baptism by pouring, considering only baptism by threefold immersion to be validly administered, as this sacrament signifies the burial of the Christian with Christ (cf. Romans 6:4). Besides, the Greek word baptisma itself literally means immersion. Hence, baptism by immersion should only be administered in exceptional situations, in accordance with the Orthodox principle of legal forbearance (oikonomia). Therefore, the Orthodox who apply the principle of "oikonomia" or legal forbearance, have agreed to recognise the validity of the baptism of other Christians in local multilateral ecumenical dialogues. Those Orthodox Churches that recognise the validity of baptism with Catholics often do not require the re-baptism of other sacraments either. However, not all Orthodox Churches recognise baptism administered in the Catholic Church as well as in other non-Orthodox Christians. These Churches do not base their criterion on the teaching of St Augustine, according to which the correctness of the celebration of the rite is important. There, the criterion is the rigorously understood maxim of St Cyprian of Carthage "Outside the Church there is no salvation". According to this conception, there can be no sacrament at all outside the visible boundaries of the Orthodox Church. In order to present these two different conceptions of the theology of the sacraments (St Cyprian’s and St Augustine’s), the definition of a sacrament and the question of the number of sacraments will first be presented. However, it will be most crucial to focus on the sacrament of baptism, since undermining its validity consequently leads to the non-recognition of any sacraments in a given Church.
13:30 Sacraments of Christian Initiation and Christian Identity Formation from the Perspective of Syro-Malabar Tradition
Professor of Sacramental Theology, Registrar cum Controller of Examinations, Marymatha
Major Seminary, Trichur, Kerala, India
In fact, the act of Christian initiation is itself to be considered as a journey in faith. To make it clear, this paper firstly pays attention to various processions, liturgy of the Word, movements, words, persons, gestures, symbols, rituals, signs, art, space and time, etc, and enquires how they play a pivotal role in revealing the journey in faith as a continuous, evolving process. In addition, the paper also highlights how this journey in faith is developed through ritual participation of the faithful in the dispensation (dabbrānūta) of Jesus Christ’s Paschal Mystery and thus how it leads to the pledge of future glory. This human response to the faith as a gift-given through the actions of the Church (sacraments) enables one to form one’s own Christian identity today from the perspective of the Syro-Malabar Church. To achieve the aforementioned goal a liturgico-theological approach is employed. On the one hand, it includes situational analysis which looks at the concrete particularity of the given rites of the Sacraments of Christian initiation of both Infant and Adult in the Syro-Malabar Church (New Taksa was published in 2005). On the other hand, a structural analysis follows considering all known and possible performances of the Christian initiation liturgy as it is celebrated in the Syro-Malabar Church today. Both situational and structural analyses advance towards a proper understanding of the faith expressed in the celebration of the Sacraments of Christian initiation, not as an abstract and universal datum but as a living reality culturally expressed and culture laden.
14:00 Marriages of divorced Eastern Faithful in the Catholic Church in light of Francis’ pontificate
Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology Palacký University Olomouc
This paper summarizes the view of Oriental divorces from the perspective of Catholic jurisdiction and sets out whether and how much has changed during the last pontificate. The paper will be organized as follows: 1. The orthodox view of marriage. 2. The jurisdiction of the Orthodox bishops from the perspective of the Catholic Church before and after the Second Vatican Council. 3. The jurisdiction of the Catholic Church over Orthodox marriage. 4. The canonical significance of Orthodox divorces according to the jurisprudence of the Apostolic Signature and according to the Dicastery for legislative texts. 5. Canonical Oikonomia: did this open the possibility for Pope Francis to recognize Orthodox divorce?
14:30 Il santo vescovo Giosafat Kuntsewycz: la priorità dell’unità con Cristo nel rafforzare l’identità cristiana ed ecclesiologica nell’eparchia di Polotsk della Chiesa Rutena unita (ITALIAN)
General Secretary of the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat
Il contenuto del discorso racconta l’attività pastorale di san Giosafat nello suo status di arcivescovo di Polotsk, che rappresenta la predicazione della parola di Dio e l’insegnamento della fede cristiana tra il clero e i laici. Attraverso il questo compito viene descritta le sue opinioni ecclesiologiche e le relazioni con i rappresentanti delle Chiese Ortodossa e Cattolica Romana. Si tratta anche della scelta di San Giosafat della Chiesa dell’Unione, che mostra la memoria storica dell’unità della Chiesa. The content of the speech reveals the peculiarity of the pastoral activity of St. Josaphat as the archbishop of Polotsk, which was aimed at proclaiming God’s word and teaching the truths of the Christian faith among the clergy and laity. Through the prism of this task, the peculiarity of Saint Josaphat’s choice in favor of the Uniate Church is described, the choice which is connected with the historical memory of the unity of the Church, his ecclesiological views and relations with representatives of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.
15:00 COFFEE BREAK
15:20 Towards a theology of Europe (ONLINE)
University of Warsaw, University of Opole
Transferring the theological methodology to the field of the theology of Europe, which is of interest to us in this study, we assume that in view of its formal object, as well as its material object, a general theological method and an auxiliary philosophical method are also admissible. Using the system of concepts developed by theology and philosophy, an attempt was made to interpret the history of Europe in such a way as to reveal in it the meaning and purpose of the created order of existence. It was accepted as a basic assumption that in the light of Revelation one can find the right point of reference for all created reality. In such a perspective, the history of Europe appears not only as a fragment of a broader strand of the dynamic history of the world, but is an important point of reference in the path of dialogue in the broadest sense. The first step (Areas of dialogue) substantiates the thesis that Europe is a place where dialogue takes place between representatives of different social, political, cultural, religious-religious options. In this process, it is important to preserve the essential autonomy of individual socio-cultural areas and the independence of specific states and nations. The expected unity should grow out of the conviction of common roots, a rich spiritual heritage, complementary material achievements and equal perspectives, which can be outlined in case of realization of noble goals. These are achievable only through an enriching dialogue. They need time and persistent people who will undertake these difficult tasks. In the creation of a theology of Europe as a space of values, a common line of thought seems to be important within the framework of the possibility of a new understanding of the local-universal relationship. Over particularistic social structures are relativized in favour of a dynamic vision of local communities in networks of universal communication. Unification processes provide many good models of these networks in relation to non-European states and nations. The analysis of current calls points not only to issues of a geopolitical nature (Europe-China relations, the migrant crisis, the war in Ukraine), but also to confrontations with new ethical and moral models. In this domain, a new look at the institution of marriage and family is important. Finally, attempts were made to answer important questions: where is modern Europe heading? How to interpret the progressive secularization of the Old Continent? Is a prosperous Europe perceived as a "crystal palace" ready to accept millions of refugees? Is Islam in Europe a threat or a challenge? How to deal effectively with Putin’s Russian aggression in Ukraine. These kinds of questions provide another message for further research in the search for current solutions in the domain of theology of earthly reality, where Europe is an important theological site.
15:50 Arab contextual theology: a roadmap
Institut chrétiens’ Orient (Paris)
The Oriental theology is of great interest for the fundamental role it played in the construction of Christian dogma and the formation of the historic Churches. However, its contribution is not limited to the great chapters of history, but remains relevant today. Since the 1970s, and concomitant with the emergence of various contextual theologies in the Third World, including liberation theologies, inculturation or black theology, theologians in the Near East have laid the foundations for an Arab contextual theology. This theology builds its discourse by responding to the challenges facing Christians in the region. The aim of this talk is to discuss the three main chapters of this local theology, reflecting on the Christian presence in the Near East and the role of different communities. - Inter-religious dialogue, and more specifically Islamic-Christian dialogue. Through their re-reading of the place of Islam in soteriology, theologians rehabilitate it through the history of salvation (Michel Hayek), Abrahamism (Youakim Moubarac) or the theology of the Logos spermaticos (Georges Khodr). - Church renewal, the most important chapter of which is ecumenism. Jean Corbon's project of the Church of the Arab and Khodr’s reflections are of great importance here. - Political theology. It manifests itself in various ways: by advocating citizenship, by taking a stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and by constructing theological discourses of liberation (Grégoire Haddad in Lebanon and Palestinian liberation theology). The various Christian communities in the Middle East are currently facing numerous crises that compromise their identity and vision. The theological principles outlined here certainly provide a serious roadmap.
16:20 Interreligious dialogue in Albania (ONLINE)
Department of Theology & Culture, University College Logos
In Albania there are 5 religious communities with the most followers (Sunni Islam, Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, Evangelicals and Bektasi). After the fall of the Communist Regime in 1990, where the performance of religious duties was prohibited and there was religious persecution of believers of all communities, the right of religious freedom was restored; churches and mosques opened again for their believers and performed the first liturgies and prayers in destroyed temples. Since the establishment of the Albanian state in 1912, but also after the restoration of democracy and the right to religious freedom, Albania has been considered a model of cooperation, dialogue and harmony between religious communities with tangible examples of solidarity and cooperation. The role of religious belief in the framework of the democratic system is quite positive, especially when this relationship is nurtured by dialogue and sincere cooperation. Since freedom of religion is reflected in private and public life, the state, which guarantees this freedom by law, cannot be indifferent to its abuse. The highlight of this cooperation was the establishment of the Interreligious Council of Albania (IRCA) in 2007 with 4 founding members-communities, which then in 2018 became five. The most interesting element of this record is the fact that a country with a diverse religious imprint was able to maintain certain common religious values within an atheistic framework under Communism and maintain a model of tolerance and harmony, which is an example both for the Balkans and for the modern Western world. This paper will try to demonstrate the historical context of this cooperation from the establishment of the Albanian state until today and to capture the model of interfaith dialogue between the various Christian denominations and Muslims and how this emerged through the framework of cooperation within the IRCA. Subsequently, the historical development of the issue of religious freedom from the establishment of the Albanian state until today will be presented in phases, the model of this religious cooperation and dialogue and the activities of IRCA from its establishment until today.
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The organizing team for Catholic Theological Faculty:
doc. Jaroslav Brož, Th.D. S.S.L.
Department of Biblical Sciences and Ancient Languages
ThDr. Ondrej Rác
Department of Systematic Theology and Philosophy
ThLic. Mgr. Jiří Dosoudil
JUDr. Alexandra Bejvančická
The organizing team for Hussite Theological Faculty:
doc. ThDr. Jiří Vogel, Th.D.
Department of Systematical Theology, Theological Ethics and Theological Philosophy
PhDr. ThDr. Mgr. Miloš David
Institute of Eastern Christianity
Bc. Dimitrije Vasković
Institute of Eastern Christianity