10 December 2010

CFP: The Political in Bonhoeffer's Theology Reconsidered

XI. International Bonhoeffer Congress "A Spoke in the Wheel: The Political in Bonhoeffer's Theology Reconsidered", at the Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden, 27 June-1 July 2012

Call for papers

Description: "On account of its Christology and ecclesiology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theology is intrinsically political. On the one hand, his theological convictions make possible opposition to government authority. Already early on in his critical engagement against the Nazi regime, in 'The Church and the Jewish Question' (1933), Bonhoeffer expected the church to oppose the state when the rights of those disdained by the state were violated. Ultimately, this stance resulted in Bonhoeffer's participation in the resistance and his violent death. On the other hand, however, Bonhoeffer advocated a conservative non-democratic political order for Germany after the war. How can one explain these seeming contradictions? How should we understand Bonhoeffer's political theology? The aim of the XI. International Bonhoeffer Congress is to encourage reflections on the continuing relevance of Bonhoeffer's political theology and ethics for the Christian church in a world that is characterized by an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Is the church once again expected to put up political resistance?"

Sigtuna is the historical place where Bonhoeffer during the war met Bishop George Bell in secret mission. The historical Sigtuna Foundation is located only 15 minutes from the international airport of Stockholm (Arlanda). President of the congress is Bishop Martin Lind (Linköping).

The planning committee of the congress invites paper proposals for the three working days of the conference, each of which will consist of main speakers in the morning and seminar sessions in the afternoon. The topics of the three days are: "Bonhoeffer's Political Resistance" (28 June, with the subtopics: Democracy; Nationalism; Politics and Oikoumene; Europe and the Refugees), "Bonhoeffer on Church, State and Civil Society" (29 June, subtopics: Human Rights; Public Theology; Lutheran Heritage), and "How Do We Live Responsibly?" (30 June, subtopics: Religion and Ethics; Migration and Refugee Studies; Global Economy; Climate Change). The subtopics should not be seen as binding for the proposals. The organizers welcome papers discussing other dimensions of the topic of the day than the ones mentioned.

The proposals, which should explain topic, main arguments, and conclusions of the paper, should have no more than 500 words. They can be written in German or English, and the presentations at the conference can be held in English or German. Younger scholars, e.g. PhD students, are especially invited to propose papers. Proposals are to be submitted to Kirsten Busch Nielsen (University of Copenhagen): bonhoeffer2012@teol.ku.dk

Deadline: 1 June 2011

The decision, taken by a small committee, as to which proposals are accepted will be communicated via e-mail by the end of August 2011. The afternoon on which the accepted papers will be placed is not necessarily connected to the topic of the day.

Registration for the congress will be possible from June/July 2011. Congress fees, including accommodation and meals at the venue, will be approximately 500 Euro. Information about reduced fees for students is to follow.

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