Interreligious Dialogue and Religious Syncretism

Call for Papers
International interdisciplinary scientific conference Interreligious Dialogue and Religious Syncretism
May 3-4, 2013
Kaunas, Lithuania

From the earliest times, encounters between people of different societies resulted in adoption of non-native religious customs, beliefs, practices, and concepts. Successful adoption of foreign customs and beliefs allowed some religions to spread so widely that today they are considered “the great world religions”. Today in Western society multiple religions coexist. There are many ways in which different religious traditions interact. They oppose or assimilate each other. They also enrich each other with new insights and cultural expressions. The contemporary situation of “religious market” and spread of modern technologies create many opportunities not only to know better the existing religions but also to create one’s own “private religion” by mixing various elements of different religious traditions.
This conference is the 4th one dedicated to the research of religious experience, tradition, and religious consciousness. Main questions of this conference are: What do we mean by “syncretism”? Where is the dividing line between interreligious dialogue and religious syncretism? Is the interreligious dialogue possible without absorbing some features of the other side? Is it possible for religious tradition to stay pure and without additives for longer time? What influence do religious experiences and practices have (if they do) on the merger of religious traditions?

The Conference organizers invite scholars of different disciplines to address these and similar questions and welcome papers in line with the Conference theme, particularly in relation to the following subthemes:
• Problems of defining syncretism
• “Good” and “bad” syncretic processes
• “Eastern” and “Western” syncretism
• Inculturation of Christianity
• Missionary work in the modern societies
• Religious experience as an ecumenical phenomenon
• Clash of religions as the form of interreligious dialogue
• Psychological, social, anthropological, artistic aspects of interreligious communication

Please submit an abstract of your paper of 250-300 words, together with your name, position, and institutional affiliation to by February 15, 2013. The abstract should be sent as an email attachment in Microsoft Word format.

Registration fee is 30 € (EUR). Unfortunately, there are no funds available at the time to cover the accommodation- or travel-expenses.

Selected extended papers from the conference will be invited to appear in the scientific journal ‘SOTER’ published by the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Vytautas Magnus University. The Journal is reviewed in the international databases: CEEOL, The Philosopher’s Index, eLABa, DOAJ.

Organizing institute: Vytautas Magnus University (Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Catholic Theology).
Venue: Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania Conference languages: English, Lithuanian.
Submission of proposals – February 15, 2013 Notification of acceptance – February 27, 2013

Organizing committee: Assoc. prof. dr. Agnė Budriūnaitė (chair, VMU, Dep. of Philosophy), prof. habil. dr. Alfonsas Motuzas (VMU, Faculty of Catholic Theology), prof. dr. Eugenijus Danilevičius (VMU, Faculty of Catholic Theology), assoc. prof. dr. Živilė Advilonienė (VMU, Faculty of Catholic Theology), assoc. prof. dr. Povilas Aleksandravičius (MRU, Dep. of Philosophy), assoc. prof. dr. Benas Ulevičius (VMU, Faculty of Catholic Theology), assoc. prof. dr. Jurga Jonutytė (VMU, Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy), dr. Aušra Kairaitytė (VMU, Faculty of Humanities), assist. prof. dr. Valdas Mackela (VMU, Faculty of Catholic Theology).