THE VILLAGE AND RURAL SPIRITUALITY
between tradition and modernity
May, 6-8, 2019

Panels

Theology of the Orthodox Church in Dialogue with the Young

The Orthodox Christian Theology proclaims the entrance of the God’s Kingdom into the world through the Incarnation, Life, Teachings, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – The Logos of the living God. The Logos is, par excellence, dialogical. Theology is, therefore, the dialogue of God with the world, while the Church – by its Scriptures, Holy and sanctifying  traditions, by its servants, rituals, and above all by its love – is the bearer of this dialogue. But for a fresh and effective communication with the coming generations, Tradition must free itself by such restrictions as identification with conjunctural elements or unilateral interpretations. Among the highly esteemed partners of dialogue that the Curch values are the youth, to whom it addresses the invitation: come, see, believe and search!

[Teologia Bisericii în dialog cu tinerii];

Teologia creștină ortodoxă proclamă intrarea Împărăţiei lui Dumnezeu în lume prin Întruparea, viaţa, învăţătura, pătimirea, moartea şi Învierea lui Hristos Iisus – Logosul/Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu. Logosul/Cuvântul este, prin excelenţă, dialogal. Teologia este, de aceea, dialogul lui Dumnezeu cu lumea, iar Biserica este, prin Scripturile şi Tradiţia ei sfântă şi sfinţitoare, prin slujitorii, ritualurile, sărbătorile, dar mai ales prin iubirea ei, purtătoarea acestui dialog în lume. Dar, pentru a nu fi identificată cu elemente pur conjuncturale sau interpretată unilateral, Tradiţia trebuie să se elibereze de astfel de restricţii, pentru a se putea comunica în chip înnoitor generaţiilor viitoare, cu valoare mântuitoare, educativ-formativă. Printre partenerii de dialog pe care ea îi preţuieşte, se află tinerii, cărora, adresându-le o invitaţie, le spune: veniţi, vedeţi, credeţi şi cercetaţi!

Political Theology & the Morality of Politics

The political attribute is touching upon a sensitive part of contemporary collective consciousness, for which reason it has already been the subject of numerous debates. The entire Hellenic thinking sides with a partnership between the objectiveness of reason towards naturalism and the moral code of the State, in other words, its finality becomes double: empirical, but at the same time also ethical. From this perspective, the doctrines pertaining to the application field of that partnership have regarded the polis, the matrix of the future, as a moral organism rather than one obeying the laws of biological evolution. That moral coordinate was to influence first the evolution of Judaic political philosophy, and later, of Christian political philosophy.

We are inviting you to debates on the formulation of the contents of Christian political philosophy (political theology, religious politics), the topicalization of these contents by relating them to a given political context, definitions, principles, hazards, in an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach. We are going to try to find answers to questions such as: Is there a political theology? Are we talking about the clericalisation of politics or the politizarea of the ecclesial space? To what extent the dogmatic consciousness of the Church is manifesting continuity or discontinuity in the process of structuring a morality of the polis? Might the theological justification of a political system be, perhaps, a finality of political theology?

We are submitting these challenges for your reflection and we are waiting for you in order to share together the results of research.

Educating Young People: between the Sacred and the Secular

The differences between the fundamental concepts proposed by the contemporary school and theology for the education of youth tend to become ever harder to reconcile. The appeal to the history of pedagogy sustains not only the idea of ​​a constant presence of religious values ​​in education (as during the Renaissance or the Enlightenment era), but also an explicit involvement of theologians in the establishment of modern pedagogy. On the other hand, the history of religions highlights the idea that no religion has survived without a solid education system but also the way in which the religious values marked the development of human communities. The current period, marked by the brutal and radical separation of the secular and religious education, asks theology numerous and difficult questions regarding the consequences of losing Christian roots by our educational systems, and about the need for a constructive dialogue with the Sciences present in today’s curricula… All these can be opportunities of renewing the message of the Gospel in the context of understanding and living of faith by today’s society, family and especially by the youth of the digital age.

[Educaţia tinerilor – între laic şi religios]

Diferențele privind conceptele fundamentale pe care școala contemporană şi teologia le propun pentru formarea tinerilor tind să devină din ce în ce mai greu de conciliat. Recursul la istoria pedagogiei susține nu doar ideea unei prezențe constante a valorilor religioase în procesul educațional, inclusiv perioade istorice precum Renașterea sau Iluminismul, ci şi o implicare explicită în edificarea pedagogiei moderne a personalităților cu preocupări teologice. Totodată, istoria religiilor pune în lumină deopotrivă faptul că fără un sistem educațional corespunzător un nicio religie nu poate supraviețui, cât şi modul în care valorile religioase au marcat permanent dezvoltarea comunităților umane. Perioada contemporană, marcată de încercarea de separare brutală şi radicală a educaţiei laice de domeniul religios, pune în faţa teologiei numeroase şi dificile întrebări în ceea ce priveşte consecinţele pierderii rădăcinilor creştine ale sistemelor de învăţământ, nevoia unui dialog constructiv cu domeniile ştiinţei legate de disciplinele din planurile de învăţământ, posibilităţile de actualizare a mesajului evanghelic în raport cu modul de înţelegere şi trăire a credinţei de către societatea, familia şi mai ales tinerii din generația digitală.

Helping Our Youth to Develop Christian Discernment: The Challenges of a Digital Age

The information present in virtual media has become an everyday preoccupation of Youth, while the time invested into this aspect goes far beyond what people actually need. One of the biggest risks is the manipulation of the fragile consciences of developing young people. The patristic virtue of discernment – as a mystical-ascetic alternative offered by the Church – is the only one capable of restoring the psycho-somatic balance of humankind, in accordance with the purpose with which humans were created.

[Cultul informaţiei şi cultura discernământul];

În viața tinerilor, informația prezentă în mediul virtual a devenit principala preocupare cotidiană, iar timpul investit pentru gestionarea acesteia depășește granițele strictului necesar. Riscul cel mare îl constituie manipularea conștiințelor unor tineri în formare. Virtutea discernământului, ca alternativă ascetico-mistică a Bisericii, este singura capabilă să readucă ființa umană într-un echilibru psiho-somatic conform scopului pentru care a fost creat omul.

 

The Arts and their formative Function. Patterns and pseudo-Patterns in the Young People’s lives

Arts affirms in multiple ways the primacy of beauty, a reason to proclaim that “beauty would save the world”. The artistic phenomenon finds itself positioned between the transfiguration and disfiguration of the world, depending on the horizon of meanings in which the artist decides to places himself in the large pallet of nuances: from the light of Tabor, to the darkness of evil. The art’s tribulations between the perpetual experimentalism and the founding experience, with  vanguards becoming common experience and nostalgies of archaic symbologies assuming initiatic stature, are forcing us to reconsider the formative and memorial role of the arts, not only in its liturgical forms, but also in its profane images. Do the present patterns of beauty have something to do with the aesthetics of Christian truth? Do they pass the test of mirroring in the beauty of the Eternity?

[Arta şi funcţia ei formatoare: Modele şi pseudo-modele în viaţa tinerilor];

Arta afirmă în felurite moduri plastice un primat al frumuseții despre care s-a spus că va salva lumea. Fenomenul artistic se plasează de fiecare dată între transfigurarea și desfigurarea lumii, în funcție de orizontul de sens în care se plasează artistul, pe o paletă amplă de nuanțe, de la lumina taborică la întunericul demonizării. Tribulațiile artei între experimentalismul perpetuu și experiența fondatoare, cu avangarde devenite banalitate cotidiană și nostalgii ale simbologiilor arhaice luând alura inițiatică, ne obligă la o reconsiderare a rolului său formativ și memorial, nu doar în ipostaza sa religioasă, liturgică, ci și în diversele ei chipuri lumești. Modelele de frumusețe mai au astăzi ceva de-a face cu vreo estetică a adevărului creștin, cu o probă a oglindirii în frumusețea infinitului?

Church & Society

In a secularized society, which is infusing its members with the idea of a need for total institutional separation from the Church, the latter may not remain passive in front of that challenge, ultimately aimed at its utter exclusion from social life. Pressing issues of economic, financial and cultural policies are also influencing the life of the Church. Although neutral from a political viewpoint, the Church may not stay impassible in front of actions influencing society. Important aspects in the field of sociology or bio-ethics, such as: social ethics and performance within the limit of available resources, donation and/or transplant of human organs, euthanasia, abortion, legal and moral aspects linked to genetic engineering, family ethics, the role and place of the Church in society, the evangelical structure of ethical and political concepts, etc., are challenges raised by modern society to which the Christian community is called upon to provide an answer.

In a world which is changing its values in keeping with political doctrines, conjunctural currents and habits, in function of the pressure of minority or interest groups, are the stable, consistent and perennial values proposed by Christianity still needed? Are these values universal or confessional? What does it mean doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, doing it properly, and with the available resources? Is it possible that mankind should create its own non-religious values, allowing the State / States to function outside of the axiological principles promoted by religions and confessions?

These are only a few of the topics that we are inviting you to reflect on and, if you so choose, to participate in our scientific debate, sending us your research, studies and articles.