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"Living Liturgy - Orthodox Perspectives on Social Engagement"

11-13 November 2011

Konfessionskundliches Institut



Life and teaching in the Orthodox Church are concentrated on the Divine Liturgy. Even the term “orthodox”, understood as correct worship of God, points towards a practice of faith and devoutness which is focused on liturgy. Being a Christian from an Orthodox point of view therefore can be described as “life out of liturgy”.


In the Divine Liturgy the earthly and heavenly realities are brought together and related to one another. Through the means of iconography as well as of a meaningful and evident action, the divine history of salvation is brought to life. Thus, the Eucharist images Christ’s timeless heavenly sacrifice. Through worship and participation in the liturgy the believers are included into the salvific event and are thereby transformed into a new life in Christ. Especially the Eucharistic meal allows the believers to have communion (koinonia/communio) with Christ and thereby creates communion with God and among the people.


A faith which develops through liturgy therefore cannot be detached from the sorrows and needs of fellow human beings and the world. Rather the liturgy is a source from which the service for the community and all of creation flows. The faith lived out and witnessed to in everyday life (martyria/diakonia) thus is described as “Liturgy after the Liturgy” by Orthodox theologians.


At the 23rd meeting of the Ecumenical Research Forum young researchers are invited to get a deeper understanding of the liturgical identity of the Orthodox Church and to discuss how the everyday life and work of Christians flows from the liturgical experience. What is social engagement in the context of Orthodox thinking and practice? How do Orthodox theologians draw on liturgy to explain Orthodox engagement in society? What does this mean for the interdenominational conversation and ecumenism?


In search of answers and perspectives…


Dr. Anna Briskina Müller, Orthodox and Protestant theologian, will explain the practice of ecclesiastical social work in the Russian Orthodox Church on Friday evening.


Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca, Priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church and Director of the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey (Switzerland), will reflect on the social engagement of the Orthodox churches from a systematic-theological perspective.


Main speakers:


Dr. Anna Briskina-Müller (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca (Ökumenisches Institut Bossey)




Konfessionskundliches Institut Bensheim

Ernst-Ludwig-Str. 7
64625 Bensheim


Preliminary Schedule:


Friday, November 11


05:00 pm          Arrivals

06:00 pm          Supper

06:45 pm          Introduction of the "Konfessionskundliches Institut Bensheim" – Welcoming by host

07:15 pm          Getting to know each other

07:45 pm          Short introduction of the main theme

08:00 pm          Anna Briskina-Müller (in German)

08:30 pm          Discussion

09:30 pm          Reception at Konfessionskundliches Institut

10:30 pm          Transfer to Christoffel-Blindenmission


Saturday, November 12


08:00 am          Morning prayer

08:30 am          Breakfast

09:15 am          Ioan Sauca: "Serving the Liturgy at the Altar of the World -

Orthodox Perspectives on Social and Ecological Engagement" (in English)

10:45 am          Coffee break

11:00 am          Paper sessions I

12:15 pm          Lunch

02:00 pm          Paper sessions II

03:00 pm          Coffee break

03:15 pm          Paper sessions III

04:15 pm          Coffee break

04:45 pm          Paper sessions IV

06:00 pm          Supper

07:00 pm          Future activities of AÖF-EREF

08:30 pm          Introduction into Orthodox Liturgy


Sunday, November 13


08:00 am          Breakfast

08:45 am          Trip to Darmstadt-Eberstadt, Greek-Orthodox Parish

09:15 am          Liturgy and meeting with parish priest

12:30 am          Departure from Darmstadt



Paper sessions




I.) 11:15-12:15 am/pm



Sergii Bortnyk

Eucharistische Ekklesiologie bei John Zizioulas



Stefanita Barbu


“One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”: An Investigation of the Orthodox Perspectives on Baptism and their Ecumenical Significance

II.) 02:00-03:00 pm



Julia Lis

Antiwestliche Stereotype in der Orthodoxie im Balkan



Christoph Mühl

Rechtfertigungslehre in den ökumenischen Dialogen mit russisch-orthodoxer Beteiligung

III.) 03:15-04:15 pm



Irena Pavlović

(De-)eskalierende Kriegskommunikation der Kirchenpresse der SOK in den postjugoslawischen Kriegen (1991-95)?



Miriam Haar


Ecumenical Dialogues on the Apostolicity of the Church

IV.) 04:45-05:45 pm



Mihai Iordache

Die Konzeption der Freiheit bei Emil Brunner, Karl
Barth und Rudolf Bultmann. Eine orthodoxe Evaluation



Joshua Searle

Eine verlorene Stimme in der Ökumene? Einheit der Kirche aus baptistischer Sicht