With a recent bill by the Greek Ministry of Education
and Religious Affairs, passed by the Greek Parliament on 23 April 2019, the
Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) was included in the Law 4310/2014 (A´ 258)
concerning “Research, Technological Advancement and Innovation“ and is, thus,
officially one of the State-acknowledged Research Centres (Government Gazette
4610/7-5-2019, Art. 255).
This fact constitutes a very important development for
the OAC and recognition of the responsible work that is being done for more
than 50 consecutive years (1968-2018), and is expected to be a landmark for its
future course and academic progress on a local, a national as well as an
The Foundation will now be able to respond to the
“signs of the times” and continue to offer its diaconal work to the Church, but
also to the well-being of our Society and our Education.
Those Members of OIKOSNET EUROPE who would like to
cooperate with the OAC with regard to this new property, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Dr
International conference, Moscow December 2019 St Andrew´s Biblical Theological Institute invites all members of Oikosnet Europe to the international conference Religion and Liberalism in Moscow Russia 11 – 14 december 2019. Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary of 400 – 500 words by October 1, 2019 to email@example.com The presentation is expected to be about 20 minutes. You find more information about the conference at the website www.standrews.ru
International Conference, Bose Italy October 2019 St Andrew´s Biblical Theological Institute, Russia, invites all members of Oikosnet Europe to the international conference Theology of Freedom in Bose Italy 22 – 26 October 2019. The Conference will be held in The Monastery of Bose, a well known spiritual and academic centre. Call for papers Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary ( 400 – 500 words) to St Andrews institute firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 August 2019. (The presentation is expected to be about 20 minutes.) You will find more information about the conference at www.standrews.ru
Cairo 14 – 18 October 2019 As an member of Oikosnet Europe we are delighted to invite you to participate in the upcoming Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue Conference under the theme: Peaceful Coexistence – How can people of different faiths live peacefully together? The primary objective of the Arab-European dialogue in the coming year is creating spaces for understanding and implementing changes to increase human rights in both regions. This focus stems from the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) Forum strategy, which emphasis on coexistence, pluralism and inclusion – not exclusion methodologies in the religious context. The other objective is the interactions between religion, civil society, and politics; integration and participation of refugees; and production of media and images — which follow from an increased focus on human rights. By making human rights the focus of our efforts, the Forum for Intercultural Dialogue aims to bring this ever-important principle to the forefront.
The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue The Arab-European Citizens’ Dialogue was established in 2010 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) as an expansion of a previous Egyptian-German dialogue. The main counterparts are the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) in Cairo, Egypt, and Oikosnet Europe, an association of faith-based educational and dialogue institutions in Europe with its office at the Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden. From 2010, there has been a series of consultations in Europe and in the Arab region. The last conference, the 6th from the initiation of this dialogue, was held at the Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden, 1-4 May 2018. We are already also planning for an event in 2020 taking place at OAC. The 2019 event of this initiative, announced in this pre-invitation, will be the 7th Dialogue Conference, and it will be hosted by CEOSS, in Cairo, Egypt.
Dates and Times Participants are welcome to arrive during Monday 14 October, and the first thing in the conference agenda will be a Welcome Reception on Monday evening. The formal program will start in the morning of Tuesday 15 October, and the program will end by lunchtime Thursday 17 October. There will be an optional excursion on Thursday afternoon. More information about the conference and a more detailed program will be distributed later.
Registration and Costs This is a pre-invitation, and a proper invitation with more details on registration and costs will follow. Here, we only want to indicate the conditions for participation. • The cost for participation, after subsidies by the conference organizers, will be app: USD 260. • On both the Arab side and the European side, there are furthermore some possibilities for subsidies regarding travel and participation. This is handled separately by the two regions. For questions about financial support, you can contact the following persons respectively: Arab region: Samira Luka email@example.com European region: Karin Sallander firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Organizers The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue Conference on Peaceful Coexistence is organized jointly by the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), Oikosnet Europe, and the Sigtuna Foundation. Feel free to contact any of the following persons if you have general questions about theconference and/or about the conference organizers: Arab region: Samira Luka email@example.com European region: Alf Linderman firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden 22 -25 June 2020 – Save the date!
As a member of Oikosnet Europe, we encourage you to save the date for the upcoming conference Receptive Ecumenism in Sigtuna 2020. This conference will be the fifth academic conference following those held in England (2006 and 2009), in the United States (2014) and in Australia (2017).
A third way ecumenism Those earlier conferences introduced the basic idea of receptive ecumenism, firstly within the Catholic tradition and then more broadly across a wide range of Christian traditions. Receptive Ecumenism is a fresh ecumenical methodology emphasizing receptivity, learning, and listening. Since its inception, the concept has taken root in many diverse contexts around the globe. It is described as a third way ecumenism focusing on conversion and renewal in the search for unity among the Churches. This conference will continue the ecclesiological reparative, criticalconstructive task of ecumenical ecclesiology.
Invited speakers Cardinal Anders Arborelius OCD, Catholic diocese of Stockholm, Sweden Rev Dr Sofia Camnerin, Stockholm School of Theology, Sweden Rev Dr Mathew Chandrankunnel, CMI, Ecumenical Christian Center, Bangalore, India Rev Anthony Currer, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome Rev Dr Susan Durber, United Reformed Church UK, Faith and Order Commission, WCC Dr Sara Gehlin, Helsinki University, Finland Rev Peter Halldorf, The Pentecostal Alliance of Independent Churches, Sweden Most Rev Dr Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden Rt Rev Dr Karin Johannesson, Bishop of the Diocese of Uppsala, Church of Sweden Prof Paul D. Murray, Durham University, UK Prof Ivana Noble, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic Ms Aikaterini Pekridou, Executive Secretary for Theological Dialogue, CEC Dr Antonia Pizzey, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Prof Cecil M Robeck Jr, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, USA Prof Risto Saarinen, Helsinki University, Finland
Call for papers Call for papers will be sent out during the first quarter of 2019. More information will be distributed later. In the meantime, please contact Olle Kristenson. Director for Ecumenical Theology at the Christian Council of Sweden: email@example.com
Every summer, the Oikosnet member organisation Agape Centro Ecumenico organize threee international summer camps. They are run in four languages (italian english french spanish) an interpretation and translation are provided. Agape Centro Ecumenico is an ecumenical centre situated in a mountain area in Northern Italy, a place of encounter and community life. The Centre was built after the Second World War, as a sign of reconciliation among people, it is an important point of reference in Italian Protestantism, but the aim is to fully encounter the different perspectives of faith. It is a place of education and development, theological exploration, political engagement, of acceptance and validation of differences.
Scholarship programme With the scholarship programme Agape offers a Summer School to encourage people coming from around the world to participate to our International Camps. This scholarships can cover food and accommodation but also travel expenses. The application for the summer school in Agape will be open until April 30.
Agape Italy 11 to 15 September 2019 On behalf of the Board of Oikosnet Europe and on behalf of Agape Centro Ecemenico in Italy, it is our pleasure to invite you to the next Annual Conference (AC) of Oikosnet Europe (OE). The AC is scheduled to take place from 11 – 15 September 2019 in the beautiful settings of Torino in Northern Italy. “We are looking forward to an exciting Annual Conference,” Walter Lüssi, President of Oikosnet Europe states. “Agape is an exciting learning space. People, especially young people, hardly come back from there unchanged and with new ecumenical inspiration. In 2019, as Oikosnet Europe, we also want to be inspired by the special flair of the place and by the experience of the Agape Center in community building.”
Identities on moving landscapes: an historical view from the Alps The theme of the 2019 Annual Conference has be chosen accordingly. It deals with identities in a changing world, characterised by migration. The Directors and staff of the Agape Center send their cordial invitation and write: “Waldensian communities are migrating communities – by means of survival, by force and, after civil rights were granted to religious minorities in 1848, by choice. Moving slowly from a clandestine movement, to a Church in a ghetto and ultimately to freedom has brought a change from a closed community to a Church open to everyone. How can identities forged by forced migration change with freedom? Is a crisis needed to form new identities? In the recent migration movements we can see similar processes of forming and changing identities. We will analyse these processes in the light of accessibility and community back then and today, we will give an insight to the political contexts in Italy and it’s position in Europe and we will discover what answers Protestant Churches in Italy and the Italian Civil Society have found to the identitarian challenges of today. ”
Registration and how to get there Agape lies within the Waldensian Valley in the north of Italy. The closest airport is Turino. And from there it takes some time to drive. For the Oikosnet Annual Conference, Turino will be the starting point of shuttles to Agape. Participants should arrive well before 18h00 on 11 September. More detailed information will be provided to registered participants. For more information on the Agape Center check: https://agapecentroecumenico.org/en The registration for the conference is open until August 21. We look forward to see you all there!
Plusbildung and Paulusakademie, Zurich April 29 – 30 From 29 to 30 April the Oikosnet member from Switzerland Plusbildung together with the Paulusakademie is inviting to a consultation in Zurich on “Religion and Civil Society”. The consultation is to be seen in the framework of a multi-annual project on “Strengthening Civil Society and People’s Participation in Central Europe”, in which Oikosnet is one of the stakeholders.
“The consultation in Zurich is to sharpen our eyes for the relation between religious and civil society actors. In many countries this is an issues. Often religion is seen as something suspicious in civil society. In many countries churches and religious actors do not see themselves as part of civil society and engage with it,” the organisers of the conference state. Therefore, this conference addresses these issues with Switzerland as the example to be studied. But the Swiss example is supposed to offer opportunities for participants to discuss the situation in Europe as a whole.
Invited are participants from Switzerland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Italy and Sweden, countries which will be involved in the multi-annual project. But others are also welcome! For further information please contact the Oikosnet Executive Secretary Rüdiger Noll. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oikosnet Europe welcomed a new member at the Annual Conference in Chania, Crete. The new member is The Reformed Conference Centre of Monoszlo, a property of the Reformed (HB) Congregation of Monoszlo, a parish of the Reformed Church of Hungary.
The centre is commited to the education of the new generations in the spirit of mutual tolerance and understanding among all Abrahamic confessions and beyond, through sincere and open minded discussion. With an interdenominational approach it works on deepening social responsibility towards the values of the created world, with a special focus on environmental questions. In its activity it strives for overcoming obstacles laid down by political divisions.
Oikosnet Europe has today 35 member organizations from different parts of Europe. Please get in contact with the secretariat if you are interested to know more about how to become a member. email@example.com
Our Annual Conference took place in the Orthodoxe Academy of Crete which was founded fifty years ago. It was the right place to deal with our theme of the study day: “Europe with different eyes: The case of Greece for example”. Here Oikosnet Europe started to engage with Europe and its current problems in a new way. When I’m writing about this I’m very aware that we shall have to learn a lot in the next years. The social and political developments challenge us to make clear statements. But far beyond this: Given the fact that populism has become a new normal in Europe, we have to link our right to exist as a learning community with the question of whether we are able to find common positions based on our expertise and if we can make our voice heard.
Fifty years ago the Orthodox Academy of Crete played a pioneering role and stood from the very beginning for peace and reconciliation among churches and among people of different denominations and cultures. As a gift for the anniversary I was able to present the director of the Academy a special painting. It is a picture which says with colours and forms and with a few words only: Rethink! Rethink Europe. Help us to rethink Europe together – unlimited, making dreams true for us and for strangers. And let us create, as much as we can according to our faith, let us create not new walls, not a “Fortress Europe”, but a real community for all.
Crete was an important step towards a greater commitment which will not be one-dimensional but a joint European effort to develop a common democratic vision of our continent and to contribute to a Europe which needs again to become more human. Warmest thanks to all who has helped to make this step possible. We express our thanks to our host, the director and his staff of the Academy, to the invited experts, to the staff of Oikosnet Europe and to all participants.
Next year the Annual Conference will be held from September 11 till September 15 in the Agape Centro Ecumenico, Italy. We will have to deal again with “Europe with different eyes”, with the European civil societies and with the European dimension of other important issues like the increasing digitization of all areas of life or the field of artificial intelligence. Welcome to the two new Members of the Board of Okiosnet Europe, Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum, Norway, as Vice President, and Karolína Silná, Czech Republic, as Treasurer. The renewed Board will involve the members active in the subject area and continue developing and strengthening the network of Oikosnet Europe.