ODC 2023 Summer

We count it as a joy and a privilege to have run the Osijek Doctoral Colloquium for an eighth year. The sacrificial generosity of many has made the development of yet another cohort of contextual missional thinkers in Central and Eastern Europe a reality. New generations of believing and practicing scholars keep being amazed, challenged and transformed by the ethical, spiritual and theological riches of the Christian Tradition. New leaders in academia, indigenous writers, contextual activists and open-minded citizens keep being trained in stimulating research facilities. Committed mentors contribute their experience, time, knowledge and resources in order to empower, equip and release new harvesters into the Lord’s field.

The ODC staff and mentors are committed to shaping the next generation of contextually aware students dedicated to God’s mission in the Church and the world. To that effect, efforts of two kinds are being made to make the ODC experience a year-long possibility. Doctoral students often feel lonely as they research new topics. They need both peers and sympathetic listeners who are capable to offer constructive feedback. The offshoots of the ODC seek to satisfy both of these needs.

The summer installment took place in July 2023 in Osijek, Almaty and online. The Summer ODC gave an opportunity to a total of 24 students and 9 mentors to participate in the program. In addition, 13 participants met in Almaty, 8 students were in Osijek, and 3 joined online. The students and the mentors represented together 14 countries.

Coming together as a community of researchers is invaluable. The peer reviews, the spirit of academic pursuit and the feeling that you are not alone in the rather lonely doctoral journey is stimulating. Discussing together multiplicity of topics within quite diverse set of socio-political and ecclesiastical context opens up new perspective on one’s own research project and may add deeper understanding and resources from similar challenges or environments (e.g. working in different Central Asian or Eastern European national contexts). Listening to the mentors presentations guides unexperienced colleagues into the craft of academic research. Having reports at a different level of advance through a doctoral programme helps a beginning researcher to navigate challenges and expectation from a doctoral; programme. In summery the key benefit of the programme is togetherness and relatedness.

(Summer 2023 ODC participant)

We are glad to congratulate three of our alumni who defended their dissertation in 2023:

David Kovačevič earned a D.Min from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He explored modern forms of Croatian nationalism and responses by Roman-Catholic and Evangelical thinkers.

Árpád Fosztó defended his thesis in Arad, at Aurel Vlaicu University in June 2023. Its focus was on epistemical mechanisms of religious experience from the perspective of a pneumatological anthropology.

Cristian Sandu, also a PhD candidate in Aurel Vlaicu University, Arad, discussed the contributions of Amos Yong to the development of contemporary Pentecostal theology, emphasizing in the end the opportunities that Yong’s theology could open up before Romanian Pentecostals.

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