1 – The Paradox of Europe: Typical Barriers and Bridges for the Gospel
2 – Population Changes and Cultural and Religious Identities in Europe
3 – Christian Faith and Human Rights, roots and prospects
Language the workshop will be taught:
We scheduled the workshop as follow:
A series of workshops in 3 days in shift 3 of 40 minutes each day.
This workshop should been placed in the following category:
Art, society and discussion
Maximum number of participants:
The needed artistic level of this workshop is:
The skills criteria for participants to follow this workshop are:
Any level welcome.
Participants will have learned after doing this workshop:
- They will have a better understanding of the cultural and religious context in which they work.
- They will be equipped to discern major trends in European societies, and how they relate to religion in general and to Christian faith in particular.
What materials/equipment/other things participants need to bring to be able to do thisworkshop:
Other important things a participant should know to be able to do this workshop:
- The lectures are based on my book Europe and the Gospel: Past Influences, Current Developments and Mission Challenges (London, De Gruyter, 2013).
Free download of the chapters (separately) in pdf, through open access on the website of the publisher. https://www.degruyter.com/viewbooktoc/product/209760
- The updated and enlarged Masterclass Edition of this book (Heerde, Schuman Centre, 2016) is for sale during the conference. Price: 20€
Content of this workshop:
The Paradox of Europe: Typical Barriers and Bridges for the Gospel
When it comes to communicating the Gospel, and to developing Churches and Christian ministries, the countries of Europe present a specific context, unlike any other region in the world. They all share certain characteristics that make them ‘European’. One of these is the paradox of Europe: no other region has been so deeply influenced by the Christianity, and no other region is so profoundly marked by the abandonment of the Christian faith.
This paradox sheds light on some typical barriers as well as some typical bridges for Christian witness in society. We will concentrate on the cultural heritage of European Christianity as a barrier and as a bridge, and the unique role of Christians interested in or involved in the arts.
Population Changes and Cultural and Religious Identities in Europe
The countries in Europe also have in common some unique demographic developments. This is the only continent with negative natural population growth. Our population is aging, it is also changing due to immigration. These changes have profound effects on the social and religious identities in a multicultural society. It is important to see the link between demography and religion. Our world-view, our values and our vision of the future have profound impact on the make-up of tomorrow’s society.
Christian Faith and Human Rights, roots and prospects
One of the characteristics of European societies, something that makes them really ‘European’, is the attachment to human rights. However, this is also a subject of much debate. Secularists use a human rights discourse to push for social and ethical changes that cause concern among Christians. What Christians often overlook is that the roots of human rights are not rationalist and secular, but Christian. Radical Protestants were the first to formulate the idea of universal rights. We should reclaim this heritage, and relate current issues of human rights to their religious foundation.