Central and Eastern European Association for Mission Studies – Call for Papers

Love, Live, and Delight: Conversations in Central and Eastern Europe on present day documents and commitments on mission

13-18 February 2017, Osijek, Croatia

The 2017 CEEAMS Annual conference seeks to actively engage in worldwide conversations on four mission documents of the last years:

1.      The Cape Town Commitment (CTC) discussed at the Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in 2010, and published by the Lausanne Movement in 2011;
2.      Together Towards Life (TTL), accepted in 2013 at the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, Korea;
3.      the Evangelii Gaudium (EG), which concluded the year of Faith (2013) and was written in the first year of Pope Franciscus’ Pontificate.
4.      The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today´s World (MOCT) – adopted in 2016 as an official document on mission at its Holy and Great Council. https://www.holycouncil.org/-/mission-orthodox-church-todays-world

The conference seeks to identify key themes which are missiologically relevant for churches and Christian communities in Central and Eastern Europe, to critically analyse these documents and find ways of their translatability at academic level and in mission praxis, in and beyond in the region. Conflicts, clashes, people worrying for their future, isolation, fear for the unknown, characterise the societies of Central and Eastern Europe; Christian communities and churches are challenged not to lose contact with each other and to open up to the societies to which they belong. Love, live and delight are calls for action prominently expressed in these four documents; they are active verbs more than ever relevant in the Europe of 2017, in which so much attention will be given to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Delighting in God, loving God and the fellow human being in order to be able to live together are the basic biblical values from which this conference seeks to find ways through which words of faith transform into lived faith.

At a global level theological-missiological conversations on these four documents have been emerging. The International Review of Mission for example fully dedicated its November 2015 issue to this topic, also the Theology of Mission section of the International Association for Mission Studies discussed these documents at its 2016 Assembly in Seoul, Korea. Yet at the regional level of Central and Eastern Europe, it seems that these documents are hardly debated with a view of their relevance the context, and continue to be discussed in isolation.

The conference seeks to create a platform where scholars and reflective practitioners are challenged to explore key themes relevant for the mission of their churches in the complex post-communist settings, while reading these documents together. It seeks to stimulate creativity for translating the theologies of mission of these documents into the context of every day Christianity.

These statements appeared together with and parallel to numerous conscious engagements by Christian communities worldwide in rethinking mission. Churches and Christian communities in Central and Eastern Europe also have been producing mission strategy plans, and mission policy documents; furthermore, synods discuss the future of mission, and mission conferences abound. Nevertheless, the critical question about the motivation behind this mission-mindedness remains. Is it the crisis experience of many communities losing their members, is it the experience of increasingly empty churches, or is it the encounter with a growing number of religious “others”, that lay behind constructing new mission strategies and mission policy papers? In what sense does the motivation for mission in these documents differ from that in our churches and Christian communities? It is common sense that the different theologies of mission lead, prescribe, correct and/or stimulate different models of mission-praxis. It is the aim of this conference to gather both reflective practitioners and mission scholars for mutual enrichment, for strengthening the missional  engagement of our respective churches and for benefiting Christian communities in the region.

Reading together and responding together to CTC, TTL and GE from a contextual perspective, in order to further develop relevant theologies of mission and to deepen missiological reflection in church and academia in the region is the primary aim of the conference.

The documents can be found at:

Call for papers:
While intently taking their point of departure in an open attitude of enquiry and invitation for in-depth discussions based on critical readings of the CTC, TTL, GE and MOCT, the organizers of the conference call for papers related to, but not limited to, the following issues:
–         Case studies which contextually explore key themes from CTC, TTL, GE and MOCT and discuss their relevance
–         Contextual understandings of mission
–         Missio Dei in the light of the three documents
–         Trinitarian mission theology
–         Ecclesiology and mission
–         Developments of new theologies of mission
–         Mission and living together with people of other faiths
–         Proselytism, conversion, evangelism, dialogue
–         Spirituality
–         Ecumenism
–         Mission theology and eco-theology
–         Mission theology and social roles
–         Churches’ responses to these documents

For submitting a paper proposal, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to ceeams@gmail.com by 25th of November 2016. Abstracts should provide a brief description of the work, clearly outlining the theoretical perspectives and methodology to be applied in the paper.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 5th of December, 2016.
Selected papers may be published in ACTA MISSIOLOGIAE, the journal of the Central and Eastern European Association for Mission Studies.
Conference papers should be restricted to 20 minutes of presentation time.

Dates of the conference:
Arrivals Monday 13 February 2017, conference starts with supper.

Plan your arrival at Budapest Airport at 15.00 at the latest to get a reduced price, booked in advance shuttle service to Osijek (25 euro one way).
Departure 18 February after breakfast.
Plan your departure from Budapest Airport after 13.00 to be able to use a reduced price, booked in advance shuttle service from Osijek (25 euro one way).

Conference Venue:
Evangelical Theological Seminary
Cvjetkova 32, PO Box 370, Osijek, Croatia, HR-31103
Tel: 385-31-494-200 // Fax: 385-31-494-201 // Email: info@evtos.hr
Language of the conference: English.

Registration fee: EUR 25
Registration deadline: 1 February 2016
Accommodation in one-person bedroom, meals, and coffee break drinks and snacks: EUR 175

Accommodation in shared (two persons) bedroom, meals, and coffee break drinks and snacks:     EUR 135

Participants, especially those whose abstract will be accepted, may apply for partial or full coverage of the conference costs. Travel expenses cannot be reimbursed. Exceptions to the rule will be considered.

Please register as soon as possible using the following link:

Pavol Bargár
Scott Klingsmith
Anne-Marie Kool
Dorottya Nagy
Peter Penner
Ivan Rusyn
Vladimir Ubeivolc
Ruslan Zagidulin

For more information, please contact:
Julijana Tesija, Conference coordinator
Dr. Dorottya Nagy, CEEAMS President: ceeams@gmail.com



Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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