(Below is an announcement sent to the SCS Office by the European Academy of Religion)
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The great success of the launch of the European Academy of Religion was in large part due to the presence, commitment, and support of participants, founders, and mentors. I myself and all the members of Fscire are very grateful to all of you for your presence in Bologna.
First of all, we want to thank the European Parliament and EU Commissioner Moedas, President Prodi and our past Minister Giannini, the Ambassadors and the Envoys of Governments who honored the meeting with their presence, as well as the representatives of Unesco, Osce, and Wef, as well as Rector Ubertini and his colleagues, all of whom offered their endorsement and ideas. We also want to thank all of you for the added intellectual energy you brought to our initiative, which is now your initiative as well.
On the basis of formal and informal talks that we had, the purposes of our Academy can be summarized in six points. The European Academy of Religion aims:
- to offer an exchange platform to Academies and scientific Societies, Research Centers and Institutions, University Labs and Clusters, and qualified Journals, Scientific Publishers and Media;
- to act as an inclusive network of networks open to all disciplines in the European and Mena Countries as well as in the Balkans, Caucasus, and Russia,in order to support their exchange and cooperation;
- to provide an open space to those who work in the production and/or dissemination of knowledge in and of the religious field;
- to give voice to religious anthropology, archeology, arts, conflicts, cults, doctrines, exegesis, experiences, history, institutions, laws, philology, philosophy, psychology, theologies, texts, and all the disciplines with an academic status in the universities or research centers, with their own distinctive and specific epistemological traditions;
- to be an instrument to make visible the academic institutions and centers of a very large and diverse set of disciplines to the public opinion and decision makers through a public, open-access web platform and an annual convention;
- to adopt an inclusive approach and encourage disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the perspective of open research, cultural diplomacy, dialogue among thinkers, peaceful relationships among cultural systems, and intellectual international cooperation.
In practical terms, we ask all of you to make the annual Convention of the Academy a real event: you and the institutions with which you are affiliated can contribute to the Convention and make it the place of regular scientific exchanges among those who are involved in diverse research in the religious field.
This could happen in many ways, for example placing some parts of the regular events of the institutions to which you are affiliated within the framework of the Academy’s convention, conceived as an instrument of dissemination; planning new activities and suggesting panels or sessions for the convention; launching discussion topics that might federate more subjects in consortia, which are the bedrock of EU programs.
We also ask for your help in drafting a list of disciplines that should have an explicit presence in the Convention program and in naming great scholars who can make their research known to a larger audience via a plenary lecture or in the longstanding format of the disputatio.
After consulting the panel moderators (Silvio Ferrari and Susanna Mancini, Hans Peter Grosshans and Vincenzo Pacillo, Patrick Houlihan and Clelia Piperno) and considering the suggestions from the Conference working group, we decided to schedule the Academy Conventions in the first semester of the year, so that they do not overlap with the AAR and SBL events that are held in the fall.
In 2018, the conference could be held in March, starting on Sunday and ending on Thursday. Institutions willing to host it are invited to send their proposals (about a page in length) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also agreed to propose a “Zero Conference”, which will be hosted in 2017 in Bologna, from Sunday June 18 to Wednesday June 21.
The call for papers in now open. Depending on the funds available, we are willing to offer free participation to early-career scholars and PhD students.
The “Zero Conference” program will also include several outstanding speakers and will set aside appropriate time for the General Assembly, which will adopt the definitive version of the Statute: a very simple one, which can be based on the principle that the membership fees should be very low and that incomes will be entirely invested in order to increase the number of students participating in the annual convention.
We are open to exchange views and proposals with you. Please feel free to write to email@example.com.