New Voices in Greek Orthodox Thought brings to the light and discusses a strand in contemporary Greek public debate that is often overlooked, namely progressive religious actors of a western orientation. International - and Greek - media tend to focus on the extreme views and to categorise positions in the public debate along well known dichotomies such as traditionalists vs. modernsers. Demonstrating that in late modernity, parallel to rising nationalisms, there is a shift towards religious communities becoming the central axis for cultural organization and progressive thinking, the book presents Greece as a case study based on empirical field data from contemporary theology and religious education, and makes a unique contribution to ongoing debates about the public role of religion in contemporary Europe.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; From national religion to pure religion: historical and conceptual framework; The bonds between nation and religion: the Orthodox legacy; Untying the bonds: new Orthodox voices on the nation, Europe and globalisation; The Orthodox legacy and education; Teaching religion in the Greek school; The religion class: between a national, European and multicultural awareness; A new era in religious education?; Conclusions; Appendix; References; Index.
Trine Stauning Willert is assistant professor of Modern Greek Studies at the Department for Cross-cultural and Regional Studies at University of Copenhagen. Her research interests include religion, education and literature in contemporary Greece and the cultural relationship between Greece and Europe in a historical and contemporary perspective. She has edited two collective volumes: Innovation in the Orthodox Christian Tradition? The Question of Change in Greek Orthodox Thought and Practice (Ashgate 2012) (with Lina Molokotos-Liederman) and Rethinking the Space for Religion. New Actors in Central and Southeast Europe on Religion, Authenticity and Belonging (Nordic Academic Press 2012) (with Catharina Raudvere and Krzysztof Stala). Her current research project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (2012-2016) examines Greek literature between European modernity and Ottoman heritage from 1880-2011 in the framework of the research programme ’Many Roads in Modernity. Ottoman Heritage and Transformation in South Eastern Europe from 1870 to the Present’.
’This is a highly important case study on contemporary Orthodox theological trends in Greece. The study at the same time explores, empirically and theoretically, processes of entanglement and disentanglement of religion and nationalism, as well as problems of religious education. Essential reading for scholars of the Greek Orthodox religion and very valuable for sociologists of religion at large.’ Nikos Kokosalakis, Liverpool University, UK ’Modern Greek Orthodoxy is often portrayed as altogether lacking innovative spirit and initiatives, as remaining bound to old traditions and practices, as being nationalistic and as endorsing extreme views. By focusing on selected new voices from the current Greek Orthodox thought, this book breaks fresh ground and shows the other side of the coin. It brings to light an ignored or underappreciated rich strand of Greek Orthodox theological reflection on many current issues related to the public role of religion not only in contemporary Greece, but in European societies at large.’ Vasilios N. Makrides, University of Erfurt, Germany