Fourth European Congress on World and Global History
Paris, 11-14th September 2014
“Religious Globalization in an Age of Global Crises? Theory and Practice of the Oikoumene in the 20th Century”
The twentieth century saw the emergence of unprecedented efforts to build a world Christian community that would overcome divisions between churches as well as nations, races, and classes. This panel will explore these efforts focusing on the ecumenical movement as a form of globalization. We seek submissions that examine how visions of ecumenical community and service were developed and applied within international, transnational, and national contexts and illuminate the ways in which these ecumenical configurations open new perspectives on the study of major themes in 20th-century history such as war, economics, secularization, racism, colonialism, totalitarianism, poverty and technology.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to
- Religious visions of the global space and world order
- Religious and ecclesiological geographies and mapping
- Institutional transformations of churches, missions and international religious networks
- Concepts of ecumenicity and ecumenical community and witness
- Transnational communication structures
- Processes of translation
-the emergence of world religions
-Missions history and the global south
The panel will take place at the 4th European Congress on World and Global History in Paris, 4-7 September 2014. Papers should have a substantial historical grounding though multi-disciplinary approaches are welcome.
Please send abstracts of 100-200 words to email@example.com
Submission deadline: September 25, 2013.
This panel will explore 20th-century history from the perspective of the ecumenical movement, a loose network of predominately Protestant groupings seeking the global unity of the Christian Church, missionary efforts and believers. Taking its name from oikoumene, a Greek term used to refer to both the inhabited globe and the world church, the movement articulated itself in visions of a modern world, new organizational structures, and patterns of interaction among various religious actors. Over the course of the 20th century, the movement registered a number of intellectual shifts, from a West/rest to a global North/South division in the geographical imagination, from internationalism to transnationalism, and from Western imperialism to indigenization. But it also was concerned with establishing a range of novel contacts (for instance among colonizers and colonized, communists and fascist, humanitarian philanthropists and state officials) and international institutions, such as the International Missionary Council, and the World Council of Churches or local interfaith organizations. The movement’s flourishing came along with the institutionalization of encounters, communication and exchange processes between otherwise disparate people across centers and peripheries.
The panel will explore approaches to ecumenism outside the perspectives of church history and give particular attention to the ways in which Christian groups helped to shape the worldviews, narratives, and political strategies that states, individuals, and civil society used in the twentieth century to negotiate the entwined but countervailing processes that historians have termed “globalization” and “deglobalization.” Panelists will use ecumenism as a lens to bring into focus and to historicize the emergence of “alternate” forms and concepts of pluralism, in terms of a global history: Ecumenism paralleled the formation of major political institutions, such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, while the goals, strategies, and methods of ecumenical organizations represented distinct and period-specific attempts to foster social integration among segregated groups on a global scale. Exploring these attempts, panelists also seek to raise the question of whether the oikoumene can be conceptualized as an alternative to the paradigms of assimilation, globality, functional differentiation, and secularization/modernization usually employed to explain the process of overcoming the social tensions associated with the history of globalization.
Doctoral Candidate (History)
Graduate School of North American Studies - John F. Kennedy Institute - Freie Universität Berlin
phone: +49 (0)30 814 936 95
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