March 4th, 2021
February 24th, 2021
February 11th, 2021
September 30th 2020
Wednesday, September 30
July 16th 2020
“The Levant, Cradle of Abrahamic Religions” is a project which furthers the scientific objectives of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization, as per Law no. 117/2017, amended by Government Emergency Ordinance no. 66/12.09.2019 which, under Art. 2 par. c), provides for “the promotion of dialogue between the peoples inhabiting the historical space of the Levant with the aim of creating a culture of peace through sustained dialogue between religious leaders, the academic environment and younger generations”. It therefore aims to develop a platform for cooperation between religious leaders on the one hand and the academic environment and civil society on the other, by organizing research activities, scientific and cultural events, and publishing specialistic studies and albums.
- the presentation of the doctrines of the world’s three great monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), whose genesis is inextricably tied to the Levantine space, through a series of lectures organized at the Institute’s headquarters by notable university professors, international researchers and specialists in the history of religion and cultural and religious dialogue;
- the promotion of religious dialogue, of a culture of peace and understanding the Other;
- the facilitation of constructive debate between different religions and confessions on the topic of similarities of doctrine and the profiles of relevant personalities from the history of the religious cultures developed within the Levantine space;
- the publishing of the lecture series and the promotion of research results at an international level.
In this regard, the project remains quite unique in promoting the religious and cultural diplomacy so direly necessary for the rediscovery of peace. An evaluation of the histories of Levantine religions and of their present circumstances by capitalizing upon their common principles represents a means for anticipating the future of this region continuously torn between peace and conflict, most often due to religious differences.
This platform for the elements common to all Abrahamic religions has already seen interventions from a number of reputed specialists in interfaith and intercultural dialogue, such as Abdo Badwi (Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon), Baby Varghese (Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India), Piotr Zelazko (Studium Theologicum Salesianum, Jerusalem, Israel). The themes proposed for debate referred to Art and Iconography in Maronite and Syriac Churches: Syriac Christianity and its Ancient Liturgical Tradition. A Survey into the History and Interpretation of St James’ Anaphora; The figure of Abraham in interreligious dialogue – from the local perspective of the Holy Land.
Abdo Badwi, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (Liban): Art and Iconography in Maronite and Syriac Churches
Bucharest, May 10th 2019
Baby Varghese, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam (India): Syriac Christianity and its Ancient Liturgical Tradition. A Survey into the History and Interpretation of St. James’s Anaphora
Bucharest, July 5th 2019
Piotr Zelazko, Studium Theologicum Salesianum, Jerusalem (Israel): The figure of Abraham in the interreligious dialogue - from the local perspective of the Holy Land
Bucharest, November 22nd 2019
THE VISIT OF A SOVEREIGN PONTIFF TO A MAJORITY-ORTHODOX COUNTRY, AN EVENT OF UNIVERSAL VALENCE
Orthodoxy and Catholicism are but two of the Christian confessions originating in the Levantine space. Active today worldwide, the two branches of Christian tradition have continuously remained connected to the spirituality of the Eastern Mediterranean. Both the Catholic and Byzantine tradition, as well as those of other Eastern branches of Christianity in the Levant (Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopian), have continuously rivalled each other in claiming to possess the ultimate Christian truth.
The divide between the two great confessions centred around Rome and Constantinople, respectively, originating in the Great Schism of 1054, has culturally affected all nations that claim a Christian heritage. Romanians are a majority-Orthodox people, with a national, autocephalous Church that developed according to Byzantine tradition, and it is only natural that we perceive universal religious heritage first and foremost through the lens of our own culture. As such, the project of an anniversary album titled Pope John Paul II in Romania. Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Nine Centuries after the Great Schism represents an effort to promote the culture of peace, understanding and to tackle a singular event of religious rapprochement between two religions of different traditions, it being the first visit of a sovereign Pontiff to a majority-Orthodox country. Which mature European nation would not have commemorated an event of such universal valence? The album’s creation proximate to Pope Francis’ arrival in Romania also demonstrates our purpose as an Institute: the promotion of a message of peace, stability and harmony in places historically prone to division, so that the future might enjoy more harmony and closer cooperation.
Through the effort of an anniversary album about Pope John Paul II’s visit to Romania, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization returned a moment of the culture of conciliation to public scrutiny, an event building on earlier initiatives for rapprochement between the Eastern and Western confessions (such as the meetings between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964 and 1965, which revoked the decrees of mutual excommunication issued in 1054 by their counterparts, Cardinal Humbert and Patriarch Keroularie).
The concept of a publication aimed to commemorate this event was circumscribed to the Institute’s research project on The Levant, Cradle of Abrahamic Religions, begun in 2019 with the aim of promoting interfaith dialogue, so necessary in a contemporary society marked by political and religious conflict and tension. Romania must reawaken its competencies as a regional and European leader from a cultural point of view by way of an appeal to our roots, a rethinking of our multicultural present through the lens of our origins and our traditions, as these are the beacons that shall lead us towards a peaceful and optimistic future.