Presentation at the seminar on ‘Political modernity and the responses of contemporary Orthodox theology’

16-17 January 2014

Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM), Vienna, Austria

Organiser: Institute for Human Sciences Vienna and the University of Vienna (Departments of Social Ethics and of Political Sciences)

This workshop brought together leading scholars in theology and the study of Orthodox Christian Churches across Europe and the United States for a highly topical discussion of the ways in which Orthodox Christianity today understands and relates to the political. In virtue of the relational triangle church-state-people, this workshop raised, amongst other questions, the following: Do Orthodox Churches conceive of this triangle in terms of the church, state and a people or in terms of church, state and persons? What is the difference between these two options and the consequences for an Orthodox political theology? How do Orthodox Churches conceive of the state and its role for human well – being? How do Orthodox Churches think about themselves, about the role and place of the church and its social function in a pluralistic society?

In this context, Effie was invited to present her paper in the first session of the seminar, the aim of which was to explore the different political and societal contexts in which Orthodox Churches today are developing their political theology. The title of Effie’s paper was: Do ‘European’ religious freedom norms present a challenge to Orthodox Churches?

In her presentation, which was based on her Marie Curie research project (at ELIAMEP, 2009-2011) on Pluralism and Religious Freedom in Majority Orthodox Contexts (PLUREL), Effie also related the topic to the Grassrootsmobilise programme, given the high relevance of the PLUREL project for our current research endeavor.

Please find the workshop programme here.