“MORE Conference” in Augsburg, 3–6 January 2020

After 2018, the “MORE conference” took place again in Augsburg under the title “Colors of Hope.” The conference, which was held on the premises of the Augsburg Fair, was organized by the Augsburg Prayer House, for which Dr. Johannes Hartl is largely responsible.

This Catholic theologian who, together with his wife, founded the house of prayer in Augsburg in 2005, was also a key figure at the conference: in addition to the opening speech, he gave a lecture on Saturday, January 4, on central concerns of Christianity today with the title, “Ecology of the Heart.” For this, he used three important categories: “Connection – meaning – beauty.”

Based on biblical statements, Hartl developed a look inside the Christian self, in which he particularly emphasized the meaning-making and thus connecting dimension. From here it was also possible to make references to current movements such as ecological ones. The lecture was framed by the praise typical of the prayer house movement, which is part of the uninterrupted prayer that is the hallmark of this house of prayer.

In addition to lectures and scholarly discussions with theology professors, the conference also offered opportunities to experience praise, to take part in Christian concerts, to receive information on Christian publishers and groups in large exhibition areas, as well as to participate in confession and blessings, Protestant services and Catholic masses. There was a special conference especially for children. The most prominent speaker at MORE on Monday was probably Kurt Cardinal Koch, who as President of the Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity was the highest-ranking representative of the Vatican who attended the conference.

From the Strasbourg Institute, Maria Hinsenkamp, ​​who is doing her doctorate on the prayer house movement and current charismatic reorientations in Christianity, and Prof. Dr. Stefan Dienstbeck took part in the conference.