The Hope and Despair of Religions Exploring the Nexus of Theory and Praxis
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2019

The seventh biannual conference of the European Society of Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS) was held in Sarajevo. We continued on from the theme of our 2017 conference in Muenster – Religion and Politics in the Crisis of Engagement: Towards the Relevance of Intercultural Theologies and Interreligious Studies – by further exploring this practical turn by scholars and scholar-practitioners in the fields of interreligious studies, religious studies, and theology, focusing on religiously plural societies, intercultural theology, peace and conflict studies, gender studies, and more.

By holding the conference in Sarajevo, we engaged with the historical and current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans in our search for relevant practices and theories of community building and transitional justice. We also established a larger web of perspectives and insights from empirical and philosophical, textual, systematic, and legal studies beyond the Bosnian context. We examined the influence that empirical studies have on theology and asked whether/how such studies challenge us to pay more attention to the practical component of religious, interreligious, and transreligious lives. From a critical perspective we addressed the peacebuilding mechanisms that religious traditions and communities offer as well as the obstacles religions and religious people may pose in establishing peace. We also included a decolonial/postcolonial gender perspective.

ESITIS partnered with three theological faculties in hosting this conference: the University of Sarajevo’s Faculty of Catholic Theology and Faculty of Islamic Sciences as well as the University of East Sarajevo’s Orthodox Theological Faculty ‘St. Basil of Ostrog’ (located in Foca). TPO Foundation was also a partner in this conference