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Call for Papers

Christian Monasticism from East to West
Monastic Traditions and Modernity in Europe
International Conference – University of Graz (Austria)
17-19 June 2015

Since its foundation in the deserts of Syria and Egypt, Christian monasticism spread not only throughout all continents – until more recently in sub-Saharan Africa – but also branched out according to the different confessions present in Christianity, meaning Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican monasticism. Today, from Eastern to Western Europe, what are the common elements and the differentiation points between these diverse monastic traditions? What is at stake for them within religious modernity, whether within a context of loss of trust in traditional  institutions and decline of religious practice or religious renewal post-communism societies?

Between crises and adaption of thousand-year-old communities, refoundations after years of suppression or a wish to invent a new tradition (new monastic communities for instance), how is the relationship to monastic tradition reconfigured? What is the place of monasticism in society, and how are these spiritual, economic or cultural links to society structured? How are they perceived in the public space and in the media? Through the secularization we also observe a phenomenon of “consuming tradition” where monastic tradition itself becomes a consumer product for publics, which are no longer interested in the religious dimension of monasteries.

This conference will provide the opportunity to sum up the situation of Christian monasticism in the delimitated but diversified geographic areas of Europe and to raise current issues according to each social context. Through debates started at this conference, the opportunity will be also given to initiate comparative reflections about these different monastic traditions.

The conference languages are German, French and English. Abstracts of 400 words are requested to the following address isabelle.jonveaux@uni-graz before October 31th. The
abstract should be in the chosen language of the planned lecture; if German or French, an additional abstract in English is required. They can concern different topics such as: monastic spirituality, place of monasticism in society, activities of work and economy, media, new communities and foundations. Papers from the fields of sociology of religions, religious studies, and theology are welcome.

This conference is conjointly organized by the Institute of Religious Studies and the Institute of Ecumenical Theology, Orthodox Theology and Patrology of the University of Graz and will take place there. It will be also supported by the Benedictine Abbey
of Admont. Travel and accommodations costs are in charge of participants.

Scientific Board:
Dr. Isabelle Jonveaux
(University of Graz, CEIFR/EHESS Paris)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Pablo
Argárate (University of Graz)
Dr. Mirel Banica (Institut
of History of Religions, Bucarest)
Dr. Stefania Palmisano
(University of Turin)