Eastern Europe Liaison Committee Annual Report 2019

1. Conferences

  • The LC conducted a successful pre-conference in Athens, 6-7 August, 2018, with 10 emerging scholars (including 5 women) from Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Armenia) and from Greece presenting their research at the pre-conference and then attending the SNTS General Meetings. This was made possible in part by the SNTS sponsorship programme and through the generosity of the local hosts in Athens (accommodation) and additional assistance from the universities of Regensburg and Jena. Most met their own travel costs.
  • The LC was engaged in a conference on the Gospel according to Matthew in Moscow, 24-28 September, 2018, which brought together ca 15 speakers from Western Europe, Australia and the USA, who had been invited by the Aspirantura/ Doktorantura of the Russian Orthodox Church to present and discuss recent research on Matthew. SNTS member Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeev) officially opened the conference. After the conference, the western participants gave a series of 15 lectures in the Higher School of Economics (Oriental Department) and in the Aspirantura/Doktorantura on core topics of NT research for graduate students and Bible teachers from seminars or academies in Russia.
  • Members of the LC participated in the regional conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-13 October, 2018 to celebrate 20 years of the Bibliotheca Biblica in Sofia. 22 Old and New Testament scholars from Bulgaria, Serbia, North-Macedonia, Greece, Germany, and Switzerland presented papers on the topic of the relationship between Old and New Testament.
  • The 8th International East-West Symposium of Biblical scholars run under the auspices of the LC took place in Romania, 26-30 May, 2019, in the Caraiman Monastery. There were ca 50 active participants, including 8 women, from 18 countries (Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece, Latvia, Austria, Germany Australia, USA, UK, Lebanon) plus ca 10 from Romania. The topic, “Stories and Images of the Human Being in NT and Church Tradition”, was addressed through 10 main papers and 15 seminar papers and extensive discussion. In addition, a section of the conference was devoted to Bible translation and Biblical scholarship in Romania past and present. Morning and evening prayers were held in the main chapel of the monastery common, led by participants from different countries and confessions. With the blessing of His Blessedness Patriarch Daniel the Orthodox Church of Romania hosted the conference and covered half of its costs, the remaining costs being met by several donors and institutions in Romania and Germany (e.g., University of Regensburg, Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland). A conference volume will be published with Mohr Siebeck (Tübingen).

2. Libraries and Biblical Institutes

  • Bibliotheca Biblica Sofia celebrated its 20th year of existence (see above) and continues to grow.
  • Bibliotheca Biblica St. Petersburg is growing rather slowly, but under difficult circumstances from the side of university bureaucracy, as has been reported regularly by its director Professor Anatoly A. Alexeev. The prospect of opening a Theological Faculty at St. Petersburg State University sounds promising, but is beset with complications in the process of bringing this about.
  • A third biblical library in Belgrade at the Biblical Institute (BINST) of Theological Faculty is growing remarkably thanks to several donations of larger book collections. The Biblical Institute at the Theological Faculty of Belgrade is very active in developing new formats for interdisciplinary research in Serbia and the Balkan region. As an example, recently a project to translate the Septuagint into Serbian has been launched by the BINST.

3. Publications

  • Conference volume of the Seventh International East-West Symposium of Biblical scholars in Moscow 2016. A Russian translation of contributions to the EELC symposium in Moscow has been published already. The official conference volume, edited by M. Seleznev, T. Nicklas and K.-W. Niebuhr, is already in print and will appear later this year with Mohr Siebeck (Tübingen).
  • A conference volume consisting of the papers given at the Conference on Matthew in Moscow (see above) is in preparation also with Mohr Siebeck for the WUNT series.
  • The Centre for Biblical Studies at Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca (Romania) publishes the journal Sacra Scripta. Journal of the Centre for Biblical Studies (ISSN 1584-7624). Two issues of vol. XVI appeared in 2018. In 2017, vol. XV/1-2 was published as a “Festschrift für Ulrich Luz zum 80. Geburtstag” and was handed over to him on his birthday on 23 February, 2018.

4. Plans

  • The LC will be involved in a regional conference on Luke-Acts in Moscow, September 2020
  • The EELC will be cooperating with the Latin America Caribbean LC in running a partly joint pre-conference in Rome, 27-28 July

Jena, June 21, 2019, Prof. Dr. Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr