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Newsletter from Oikosnet Europe – February 2017

This is the first Oikosnet Europe newsletter for 2017, but I guess most of us are already intensively engaged in this year's work at our home institutions.

In March 9 to 10, the next OE board meeting will take place in Beuggen, Germany – the same place where the next Annual Conference will take place. Below, you can find information about the last board meeting as well as information about the 2017 Annual Conference.

As always, you can write to the OE office mail,, if you want to ask questions or share information among members.

We live in insecure times

Editorial by Rüdiger Noll,
Executive Secretary of Oikosnet Europe


Whenever one follows the news these days, there seems to be an underlying message: we live in insecure times! What seemed to be common sense, common values and maxims and what seemed to be international standards, which were most often negotiated after two devastating World Wars, seem to be questioned or just not implemented. Human Rights are played against security, solidarity between states and within states is low, protectionism and competition are growing.

Just recently, I was invited by the Lutheran World Federation to a meeting in Sweden, where the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, Antje Jackelén, spoke in her opening sermon of the four dangerous “P” of our times: Protectionism, Polarisation, Populism and Post-factual. Whoever, whichever nation returns to old mechanisms of protectionism and establishes new walls around itself, should not be surprised, if others do the same – with the fatal consequences for international relations, known from the 20th century. “Us first” is a message of polarisation. The gap between rich and poor countries as well as the gap between the rich and the poor within countries is widening, as the most recent Oxfam report has shown. Populists try to harvest on such developments, the play with and increase the fears of people, they shoot against “elites”, whereby they are most elitist and exclusive themselves. And the truth? If the truth does not count anymore, if one can openly lie and if the internet is high-jacked by some to deliberately spread false information, what does truth mean today? Read more

Save the date for the Annual Conference 2017

Beuggen, Germany  6th – 10th of September
September might still seem far away, but we all know that time flies much faster than we expect it to. The Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe 2017 will be hosted by the Evangelische Akademie in Baden at Beuggen, South Germany. The main thematic issue will be “The Digital revolution and it´s children.”
The conference starts Wednesday the 6th of September and ends on Sunday the 10th. More detailed information about the program with study days etc. will be provided to all members with the letter of invitation and in the next newsletter.

Report from the board meeting in Budapest

The members of the Oikosnet-Board had their last board meeting of the year in Budapest in December 8-10. Dr Kostas Zormpas, Member of Board and General Director of the Orthodox Academy of Crete, gives his report from the meeting.

Read more

Gender Media and Religion

Pre-invitation to The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue on Religion and Society 9 to 12 August 2017 Sigtuna, Sweden

In recent years, we have seen the rise of many cultural tensions and conflicts, and even violent terror and war, in many parts of the world. This has not least been the case in Europe and in the Arab region. Religion, that in the more secularized parts of Europe in the late 20th century merely was considered as a private matter, has been at the core in many of these contemporary conflicts. Thus, issues around religion and democratic peaceful development are today burning issues, not least in Europe and the Arab region.

The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue
The Arab-European Citizens’ Dialogue represents one concrete way to work with the issues mentioned above. From 2010, there has been a series of consultations in both Europe and in the Arab region. The last Consultation, the 5th from the initiation of this dialogue project, was held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in March 2016. The next Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue is concentrating on Religion and Society, and the specific focus will be on Gender – Media – Democracy.

Oikosnet members - participation free of charge
The cost for participation, after subsidies by the Sigtuna Foundation, is SEK 4350 (app. EUR 450). As a member of Oikosnet Europe you have the opportunity to take part in the Conference free of charge. The number of participants with this financial support is limited.

Please contact Karin Sallander ( if you are interested in taking part of the Conference.

read more

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