Post-secular age and academic theology in the light of international discussions

2011-11-29 10:30

The speakers were from various countries. In their reports they tried to seek answers to the questions from yesterday's session and also present their own understanding of theological presence both in scientific and public lives.

Thus, the speaker from the Academy of Theological Studies (Volos, Greece), Pantelis Kalaitsidis stressed that the Church should speak more understandable to people language; and theology must be academic and a kind of "conscience of the Church".

Reporter Paul Smytsniuk, emphasized the importance of ecumenical education in Christian academic institutions. He considered what has been done by institutions of various denominations for simplementation of ecumenical education. He analyzed the principles of such education mentioned in the WCC documents and handbook of application of the principles and norms of ecumenism of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Furthermore, the speaker presented a vision of Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Zizioulas) on how to overcome confessionalism in theological research and teaching.

"Dialogue between Western and Eastern theology can create systematic theology and yet maintain loyalty to the Gospel, to use or restrict reason and faith in a proper moment. This could be one of the projects for academic theology in the XXI century" – proposed the speaker from the Netherlands, Frank Bestebruertye".

Vitaly Khromets, Deputy Head of the Department of Culturology of the Pedagogical University of Drahomanov (Kyiv) analyzed the current situation of theological education in Ukraine. He outlined the main trends and prospects of its development in high schools of Ukraine in the context of recent changes made to state law on education.

A round table was a final stage of the conference "Academic theology in a post-secular age", where participants discussed the key issues and problem points to achieve a consensus and understanding. Speakers expressed their conviction that theology must be understandable and in accordance with academic standards offered by modern science. Theology should not be closed just in itself, but open to dialogue with other sciences.