First lecture launched

„What I am dreaming of are groups like this, that develop an understanding of the different ethical traditions in Europe“ said Lukas David Meyer about the 1st lecture of the Digital Academy of Young Theology, with which the virtual conference on Protestantism between Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism was launched on 4 November. Meyer teaches at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich (LMU). 32 participants from 9 European countries as well as Chile discussed on the screens about Church and Identity with the theological and sociological Aspects.

The first speaker of the evening was Dr. Mario Fischer, General Secretary of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). He describes churches as relational buildings and they are part of the society. Since times of the reformation Protestant churches are national rooted. But the models of society are divers and complex and so are the churches. The CPCE therefore can be seen as an example for unity in reconciled diversity. Volkmar Ortmann from the Protestant Federation of Hesse was the moderator. He has a lectureship at the Justus-Liebig-University in Gießen.

The second speaker, Lukas Meyer, outlines ethical statements of the CPCE, the EKD and the Reformed Church in Hungary. The focus is on statements in the context of the European constitutional crisis, financial crisis and migration crisis. It becomes clear that in the statements of the EKD and the positions of the Reformed Church in Hungary the national church contexts and interests remain clearly recognizable. Finally, he calls for a more committed Protestant social ethics. He states: Local social ethical engagement has the potential to initiate the needed change in the ethical debates in European Protestantism.

Protestantism between Nationalism and Cosmopolitinanism

Many Protestant churches are currently experiencing changes that deeply affect their self-understanding, social status and internal structure.
Public discourses in Europe are shaped more and more by nationalist positions. This has an impact not only political debates of the respective societies; it also challenges the
Protestant churches as agents in these societies. On the one hand, Protestant churches are rooted within their own historically and culturally moulded narratives. On the other hand, as Protestants they are part of a strong tradition (European Protestantism) and of worldwide Christianity. Which challenges arise for Protestant churches facing strengthening nationalisms? What signifi cance do they attribute to their own national anchorage concerning their Protestant identity?