“See, I Am Making All Things New”: Towards a Missiology of Hope




In actual fact, however, eschatology means the doctrine of the Christian hope, which embraces both the object hoped for and also the hope inspired by it. From first to last, and not merely in the epilogue, Christianity is eschatology, is hope, forward looking and forward moving, and therefore also revolutionizing and transforming the present. The eschatological is not one element of Christianity, but it is the medium of Christian faith as such, the key in which everything in it is set, the glow that suffuses everything here in the dawn of an expected new day. For Christian faith lives from the raising of the crucified Christ, and strains after the promises of the universal future of Christ.

Next year it is going to be sixty years since German Reformed theologian Jürgen Moltmann wrote these words in his ground-breaking Theology of Hope. In the book, Moltmann asserts that hope stands at the center of Christian faith and life. Through the Christ event, God gives rise to the hope that a different world is possible. In Moltmann’s words, God revolutionizes and transforms the present, and in the apocalyptic language of John, God is making all things new (Rev 21:5) – to inaugurate the world in which just peace reigns and the entire creation can achieve its consummation. Today, as ever, this message is in short supply. In contexts of war, conflict, political oppression, socio-economic exploitation, spiritual hunger, and ecological devastation, humankind alongside the non-human creation is crying for liberation, restoration, and healing.

Hope is not naïve optimism. Rather, it is an active, though contemplative anticipation, pursued frequently in spite of what we see around us. In hope, one relies on God’s involvement accompanied by walking in the trajectories of the past, present, and future witnesses of God’s story, be they Christian or not. It is a commitment to work toward the common good interpreted through the lens of God’s reign of justice, peace, and life for all. This sharing in God’s dream and vision is the contribution that Christian churches can make to the flourishing of public life.

The Central and Eastern European Association for Mission Studies (CEEAMS) takes the occasion of sixty years with Moltmann’s Theology of Hope as an entry to invite theologians, missiologists, and reflective practitioners to engage with the notion of hope as relevant for developing and nurturing contextual theological-missiological praxis.

The conference invites papers that explore, research, and address the theme of hope within the framework of mission theologizing, education, and praxis from and within the context of Central and Eastern Europe. The questions below may guide but should not limit the formulations of the paper proposals:

  • What does “mission as action in hope” (David Bosch) mean in the context missio Dei today?
  • What resources for hope do we find in our faith traditions and how do they shape our mission praxis?
  • How does hope challenge our theological thinking to inform our witness and ministry?
  • What missiologies of hope do we see currently emerging in our contexts?
  • How do we theologically-missiologically account for the Pauline “triptych” of hope, faith, and love?
  • In what ways can churches be messengers and agents of hope in today’s world?
  • In what respects is hope to be distinguished from optimism?
  • How can hope contribute to engaged and responsible Christian witness in (post)secular and pluralistic societies?
  • In which ways does hope feature in Christian mission in interdenominational, ecumenical, and/or interreligious settings?
  • How does hope feature in theological-missiological education?
  • How does empirical research contribute to the development of missiologies of hope in today’s situations of despair?

Abstracts and procedure

To submit a paper proposal, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to ceeams@ceeams.org by of December 5, 2023 with the subject heading: CA2024 / [your name]. 

Abstracts should provide a brief description of the work, clearly outlining the theoretical perspectives and methodology to be applied in the paper, as set out in the Guidelines for Abstracts.


Papers may be selected for publication in ACTA MISSIOLOGIAE, the journal of the Central and Eastern European Association for Mission Studies.

Conference presentations/papers should be restricted to 20 minutes of presentation time.

Guidelines for abstracts:

A conference abstract is a short text that comprises the contents of your proposed paper. The abstract must contain the following parts: title of the proposed paper, the research question, the context of the research question, the method and theories through which you intend to answer your research question, and finally, the relevance of the research question for mission studies and mission praxis in Central and Eastern Europe. In case you already have a completed paper, the abstract should point to the findings of the research as well.

For more help in writing a good abstract you may consult e.g. HERE


Dates and Schedule of the Conference

The conference starts on Friday evening, the 16th of February 2024 and ends on Monday evening, the 19th of February 2024. Departures on February 20, 2024.


Hybrid format:

The conference will be organized in a hybrid format.



Evangelical Theological Seminary

Cvjetkova 32, PO Box 370, Osijek, Croatia, HR-31103

Tel: 385-31-494-200 // Fax: 385-31-494-201