Next week the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, will host a three-day conference, ‘From World Mission to Interreligious Witness: Visioning Ecumenics in the 21st Century.’
The conference runs June 16-18, 2010, in the Arts Building at TCD. It features a range of internationally-respected theologians from around the world, all of whom are concerned with tackling questions relating the character and concept of ecumenical Christian witness across cultures and faiths. These questions are being asked in light of the centenary of the 1910 Edinburgh Missionary Conference, which is regarded as the birth of the modern ecumenical movement.
Some of the key questions to be explored are:
- What is the significance of the way in which Christianity has moved from World Mission to World Christianity?
- How can Christian mission and witness be theorized and embodied in the 21st century?
- What does Christian witness entail in the public squares of the world, which represent not only multiplicity as spatial and historic entities, but also plurality within?
- How can religious actors best acknowledge the fact that the public square should not simply be regarded as the ‘other’ of some imagined religious sphere?
- How can Christianity re-imagine and re-position itself in light of the contested and often contradictory trajectories of secularization and religiosity?
- Will the 21st century confirm a transition from Christian witness to interreligious witness?
- How will Christian theological reflection develop alongside altered expressions of ecclesiality?
The conference is being staged in conjunction with the journal Concilium. It marks the half-way point of the Irish School of Ecumenics’ three-year research project, ‘Visioning 21st Century Ecumenism,’ which is funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Among the aims of the conference are to re-appropriate the under-standing of ecumenical Christian witness for our times, and to set out a vision for Ecumenics in the 21st century as:
- intercultural theology
- ecumenical public theology
- and interreligious theology