Although “ASSUMPTION READINGS” is a traditional theological conference, it is quite innovative and unique on the territory of Ukraine. It is an event of the highest academic level that brings together the most outstanding theologians, historians and philosophers of Ukraine, Europe and Russia.

(see VIDEOINTERVIEWS with the participants' resposes here)

Among its main goals are: 

 

 

  • promotion of the ecumenical dialogue and cooperation by way of bringing together distinguished theologians from Orthodox and Catholic traditions to discuss topics that unite both; 
  • promotion of cooperation between Academia and Church by holding the events of the conference both in Church and academic institutions; 
  • promotion of Christian tradition in Ukraine through raising interest to the conference in wider audiences of Ukrainian society.
The first “Assumption Readings” conference was held in 2001. It took place in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra with the cooperation of Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary. In later years, other participating institutions joined. The first of them was the University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.’ Thus, the conference contributed into bridging the gap between the Church and secular higher education. Later joined the museum of the St. Sophia Cathedral, the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and the Institute of Religious Studies of St. Thomas of Aquinas. This further broadened the scope and impact of the ‘Assumption Readings.’ 
 
Over the ten years of the conference (see a photo retrospective), the topics were the following:
 
2001: Family in Post-Atheistic Societies  
 
2002: Education and Family in Post-Atheistic Societies
 
2003: Ways of Education and Witnesses of Righteousness: Person. Family. Society
 
2004: Human Person and the Problem of Tradition: Meeting of Generations and the Quest of Continuity
 
2005: Human Being. History. Gospel
 
2006: The Unity of the Human Person and the Meeting of Cultures
 
2007: Friendship and its forms, ordeals and gifts
 
2008: Memory and History: at the Crossways of Cultures
 
2009: Memory and Hope: Horizons and Paths of Finding Meaning
 
2010: Christian Feast: Thanksgiving, Liberation, Unity
 
2011: Childhood in Christian Tradition and in Contemporary Culture


2012: Christian Witnessing: Traditions, Forms, Names
 
Being universal, the topics of the conference do not only serve academic circles, but also find their echo in the life of local parishes and communities, reaching wider audiences. According to the Head of the Synod Department for Information and Education of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Archpriest Georgy Kovalenko, thanks to the conference, “theology - of family and education, righteousness and its witnesses, human person and tradition, friendship and its gifts, memory and hope, and finally – the feast – turns its face to the world.”
 
The materials of each year’s conference are published in “Assumption Readings” collected articles. Since 2010, video-reports (2009 and 2010) of the conference are available on the website of St. Clement’s Center. The publication and distribution of the materials help making the outcomes of the conference more accessible to readers in Ukraine and abroad.
 
The biggest strength of the conference is its participants. About 30 theologians, both from clergy and laymen, attend the conference each year, contributing to raising of interest to theology and ecumenism in Ukraine and abroad. Since the conference is open, many students come to attend as well.
 
Among the distinguished participants over the 10 years there are:
 
Academician Sergey AVERINTSEV
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops Archbishop Nikola ETEROVIĆ Archbishop Iwan Jurkowic, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine
Metropolitan KALISTOS WARE of Dioklea
Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon George KHODR
Metropolitan of Minsk and all Belarus FILARET
Metropolitan of Volokalamsk Ilarion ALFEEV
Rev. Milan ZUST, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Rev. Didier BERTHET, Rector of Catholic Seminary of St-Sulpice (France) abbot Michel VAN PARYS from the Benedictine monastery of Chevetogne (Belgium)
Rev. Boris BOBRINSKOY,
Br. Adalberto MAINARDI from the Monastery of Bose (Italy)
Br. RICHARD from the Taizé Community (France)
Dr. Johannes OELDEMANN from Johann-Adam Möhler Ecumenical Institute (Germany)
Prof. Georges NIVAT from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Archpriest Mykola MAKAR, Head of the Association ‘Eulogia’ in Milan (Italy)
Rev. Zdislav SZMANDA O.P., acting as Rector of St. Tomas Aquinas Institute of Religious Studies in Kyiv (Ukraine)
Prof. Dr. Christian FELMY, member of the Commission for the Dialogue between the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Russian Orthodox Church
Beatrice DE LA VILLION, Chief Representative of the Catholic Association “Truth and Life” (Paris),
the Orthodox historian Christine CHAILLOT (Switzerland)
 
Thanks to their participation, the conference offers:
 

* High academic level of lectures

* Ecumenical spirit

* an opportunity for presenting and discussing contemporary Christian theology, which is not enough represented in Ukrainian theological schools

* an opportunity to reach student audiences of Church and secular educational institutions

 After ten years of its work, ‘Assumption Readings’ present a unique archive of collected articles and video reports online, which increases its impact on wider audiences.   

  

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