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HOLY CROSS GREEK ORTHODOX SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY WILL HOST AN INTERNATIONAL ECUMENICAL CONFERENCE TO ADRESS THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD, ISSUES OF HUMAN RIGHTS, RELIGIOUS PLURALISM AND ETHNIC CONFLICTS

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September 2, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nikki Stournaras, (617)-850-1213
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
Date: September 2nd, 2002.

AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON "THE ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD" TO BE CONVENED AT HOLY CROSS GREEK ORTHODOX SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

The mission of the Orthodox Churches in a global and pluralistic world will be the focus of study at the International Conference that Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology will hold on October 3-5, 2002 on its Campus.

The Conference, first of its kind, will bring together Church hierarchs, theologians and social scientists from this country and abroad to address the challenge of globalization, issues of human rights, religious violence, ethnicity and nationalism, and Christian missions.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will deliver the keynote address on "Orthodoxy in a Pluralistic World". His much-anticipated presentation on the presence and mission of the Orthodox Church in a pluralistic world will articulate his vision as the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and as a distinguished theologian.

Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice at Princeton University, will interpret the challenges of globalization for the Christian churches. Professor Falk, in his recent book "Religion and Humane Global Governance," considers the contributions of religion, and more particularly of the Christian churches, as indispensable to the building of humane global governance. The churches through a "politically engaged spirituality" can become sources of empowerment against the dehumanizing consequences of globalization.

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr. Konrad Raiser, will challenge the conferees to become active partners with other Christians in building a culture of peace by overcoming the logic and culture of violence that seems to prevail in the world. Rev. Dr. Stanley Harakas will present the Orthodox view on this matter by commenting on Dr. Raiser's presentation.

Diana L. Eck, professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University and Director of the Pluralism Project, will explore some of the challenges that the plurality of religious communities pose for the Christian churches and the dialogical challenges that Christians encounter as they engage in new complex relationships with people of other faiths in professional, workplace, and civic life.

The issue of Human rights and obligations from a Christian and from an Orthodox perspective will be addressed respectively by David Little, T. J. Dermont Dunphy Professor of the Practice in Religion, Ethnicity and International Conflict and Director of the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard University, and by Christos Yannaras, Professor of Philosophy at Panteion University (Greece) and a prolific Orthodox theologian.

The President of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Rev. Nicholas Triantafilou, stated, "The coming together of such prominent Church hierarchs, theologians, and social scientists to discuss these highly complex, but very crucial issues facing our Church in the modern world, is a strong indication that Holy Cross actively fulfills its theological mission. As a center of theological studies, Holy Cross provides to our Church the appropriate space to explore and dialogue about its transformative presence in a global and pluralistic context."

The Conference is jointly sponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the World Council of Churches, in cooperation with Boston Theological Institute and the Initiatives in Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School. It is funded by the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund; the Marcelle R. Varver Foundation; Dr. Gregory G. Floridis Endowment; Dormition of the Virgin Mary Parish, Somerville, MA Trust for Conferences; and Martha Karathanasis Grant for Conferences in Memory of David Kambourelis.

The Conference is open to the public and will be held at the Maliotis Cultural Center on the campus of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, Massachusetts. To register and for further information, please contact Nikki Stournaras by telephone at (617) 850-1213, or by fax at (617) 858-1460, or at www.hchc.edu.