ORIC Conference 2022 IASI

ORIC Fifth International Theological Conference

In cooperation with the Faculty of Theology in Iasi and the Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bukovina

EXPLORING THE PILLARS OF

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY

In cooperation with the Faculty of Theology in Iasi and the Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bukovina

EXPLORING THE PILLARS OF ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY

1-4 December 2022 Iasi

Call for papers

We are delighted to announce that the ORIC members were invited this year by the Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina to hold our conference in Iasi. The Metropolitanate will be happy to cover all the conference expenses at the site. The conference will take place from 1 to 4 December 2022 (arrival 30 November and departure 5 December).

There will be possibility to participate online in case the pandemic won’t allow in-person communication. As usual we aim to pre-record our presentations to be able to focus on the discussion.

What is the place of Theology in the world and in the lives of contemporary people?

Do the words the theologians pronounce make a change to how people think, to what they put their trust in? Do they reconcile?

What message do we give to the world as theologians if we fail to transmit the word of God in a way that would make its salvific force evident?

During the last several decades, we have experienced an amazing transformation within our society. The recent technological developments such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, social networking platforms, robotic process automation, cloud computing, the internet of things, 3D printing, open unprecedented possibilities to human beings. These astounding changes have however their flip side.

For millions of years, social structures used to shape human beings, moulding them into the exact form of their social existence. It used to be very clear what is expected from a human by society. The recent technological revolution has shaken the former foundations of the world: the former identities, authorities, hierarchical and social structures of civil societies. Humans were left to their own devices. These rapid changes made the population resemble a jelly with no clear focus for their activities, no sense of direction. One of the problems is that a human being is no longer required by society. Not only one working person can feed 100, but we also no longer truly need other people to deal with everyday problems. Humans didn’t even have time to notice that, enhanced by global social networking platforms they no longer live in the civil societies they used to live in.

As the result, on the one hand, politicians are building walls trying to save their former authority and control in the world that has already been fundamentally reshaped. On the other hand, people feel distressed for a seemingly unknown reason. This makes some eagerly embrace totalitarian regimes in the hope to obtain a certain form that would give meaning to their life, a sense of belonging. The others fall into aggression, and everyone is shouting through the social media “Look at me, I am here, notice my existence”.

Our role as Orthodox theologians is not only to take a side in the conflict that has suddenly appeared in our sight as the tip of the huge iceberg. Considering the broader perspective in which the recent events take place, we discern a giant underwater lump of the iceberg which currently remains disregarded. It consists of metaphysical and spiritual matters that is our duty to address.

In this difficult situation, let’s make Theology the word of salvation, the word that changes the world.

When the previous foundations of the world and the civil societies collapse, God remains the same.

His Truth remains the same.

Theology remains unshakable.

Like a view from the top of the mountain, it gives a clear outline of a place to which we truly belong.

It reminds humans about their true identity.

It remains the place of Light for this world.

The more Light we can see the more hope we provide to those who suffer.

I propose to use our next conference On the Pillars of Orthodox Spirituality to collect all the salvific energy of the word we can offer to this world.

Let’s regard it as an opportunity to bring together all theological considerations that we consider helpful for humanity to come through the recent crisis of identity.

It would also be helpful to brainstorm what is currently lacking in our transmission of the word of God to sound like a thunderbolt for the modern people. We will dedicate one of our roundtables to the brainstorming of the place of Theology in the modern world and how we could change it.

Please submit your abstract (300-500 words) by 12.pm 15 August 2022 to: connect@orthodoxresearchgroup.com