The Future of Religious Faith from Central Eastern European Perspective
Czech Christian Academy (Institute for Dialogue)
The project will consist of progressive and innovative, unique and unprecedented coordinated research of four national teams (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary), of disseminating the results of that research and of refining hypotheses for the following three years project. Its main focus will be identifying implicit convictions and existential questions of contemporary spiritual seekers in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as of people who seem to be indifferent towards religious questions (the so called "apatheists"). As part of the preparation for the three years project, the Czech team will organize consultation meetings with specialized chaplains (army, universities, hospitals, prisons), with representatives of existing institutions focused on dialogue with apatheists and seekers and with Christian activists with experience from Communist times. The Czech team will also organize focused research among young converts and set up a Dialogue lab with young apatheists. All four teams will meet four times for a series of colloquia. They will organize two meetings with CEE religious leaders to discuss the results of their research and they will popularize the results in regional media. We are convinced that a comprehensive understanding of global changes and trends in social, cultural and political role of religion is impossible without taking into consideration the Central and Eastern European post-Soviet perspective. This is why it is important to help (especially young) scholars from CEE to become competent participants in international scholarly conversations on the role of religion in contemporary world and its future and to articulate their own contribution to this ongoing debate, reflecting the CEE context and experience, which so far has received minimal attention by international academic community. This fact makes the proposed project an innovative and ground breaking endeavor with large potential for new discovery.