Identity and Authenticity in the Church of the Global Village

The Eastern Churches Institute of the Diocese of Regensburg (“Ostkircheninstitut der Diözese Regensburg“) founded only in 2016, sponsored a symposium on October 5 and 6 of this year on the topic “Identity and Authenticity in the Churches of the ‘Global Village’: Ecclesial Rapprochement of East and West through Common Goals?” The symposium, which took place at the initiative of the new director of the Institute, Dr. Dietmar Schon, enabled a development of themes blending traditonal theological approaches such as exegesis, church history, and dogmatics with newer results of scholarship on identity stemming from fields like religious studies, sociology, and psychology. Bp. Dr. Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg and Metropolitan Panteleimon (Arathymos) of Congo-Brazzaville delivered the main lectures. While Voderholzer stressed the possibility of Roman Catholic-Orthodox consensus in view of wide-ranging dogmatic agreement on ecclesiological questions, Metropolitan Panteleimon confirmed its necessity: in the context of Africa, the churches have had to become missional together. The extent to which a “values-based ecumenism” can be a model of the future of confessional cooperation was the topic taken up by Strasbourg’s Prof. Jennifer Wasmuth in her lecture. All the contributions to the symposium will appear next year in a volume of a new series of “Papers from the Eastern Churches Institute of the Diocese of Regensburg.”