Christian Theologians Explore War and Religion

( [email protected] ) May 17, 2007 04:30 AM EDT

Christian scholars from Europe and the United States are gathered in Greece to discuss how the Christian body can facilitate peace and healing in a world full of violence.

The international ecumenical conference “Forgiveness, peace and reconciliation” in Volos, Greece, convenes a broad spectrum of theologians, scholars and academics, ecumenists, and members of peace and reconciliation fellowships to look at the role of religion in conflicts.

Among the topics discussed at the May 17-20 conference are: interrelationships between peace, justice and security; war in the name of religion; spiritual resources for a culture of peace; the healing of memories; and identity and "otherness."

The Church of Greece is hosting the conference as its contribution to the WCC’s Decade to Overcome Violence, which is focused this year on Europe.

In addition, the conference will use current situations in Cyprus, Serbia, Russia, Ireland and the Middle East as case studies to be considered in a conference section on “Orthodoxy in situations of conflict.”

Speakers include Dr. Vletsis Athanasios, professor at Munich University, on “Overcoming Violence. The Challenge to the Churches;” Dr. Niki Papageorgiou, assistant professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, on “The Predominance of Violence in the Present World: A Sociological Approach;” the Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis, professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, on “Human Dignity in a Globalized World;” and Dr. Konstantinos Deliconstandis, professor at the University of Athens, on “Is reconciliation possible between Turks and Greeks?”

The conference is being jointly sponsored by the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, the Boston Theological Institute and the World Council of Churches.