the national identifying and the love of Christ

Peter Morée, church historian from Prague, gave a lecture on the challenging topic „Protestant Churches under the Influence of Nationalism“ at the Digital Academy on December 2, 2021. In two hours, more than 20 participants experienced theoretical impulses that gained concrete form through examples from art and architecture. In small groups, the participants from numerous European countries had several opportunities for direct exchange. The moderator of the evening was Oliver Engelhardt (CPCE).

Peter Morée summarized his remarks with the words: „The faith we have in common defines us, not ethnic or national differences. This is the ecumenical answer of the churches to the temptation of nationalism. And yes, at the same time we need to relate to our particular contexts and histories. The question is: where is the line between identifying with particular national traditions and being faithful to the universality of the embracing love of Christ?“

In the final discussion it became clear that with this question Peter Morée had hit the core of many discussions in the round tables. Read more …

Identity as a Christian community

The theme of the 2nd lecture on 18 November was identity as a Christian community, which is not always constructed in the same way. It contains not only confessional, but also regional, social and historical elements. A look at ecumenism, in the Protestant-Orthodox comparison, shows us the different approaches to national and global identity, which are sometimes congruent, sometimes divergent. The speakers were Prof. Dr Stefan Tobler (ZETO, Sibiu) and Katerina Pekridou (CEC Brussels).

Feeling at home in the church means that I have my place there. This is how Gerhard Servatius-Depner (ZETO) described the discussion:My place, my home is my identity. This insight – if I am right – sheds light on the discussion about Nationalism and Cosmopolitism, both very abstract notions, very political notions. Does the strengthening of local cultural traditions and mother tongue within the church lead to nationalism or – at least – to a kind of local patriotism, of narrow perspective of faith with the tendance to be closed and egoistic? Or is it rather an instrument of the mission of the church to invite persons to feel at home? But in the same time: what about the others, the newcomers, the migrants? Can they feel at home, too – together with us? There are no easy answers.” read more…