Eating, drinking and sleeping political theology

The International Research Network on Religion and Democarcy (IRNRD) held its annual conference on 14.-15.12.2009 at the Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary. The theme of the conference was Political Theology for the 21st Century: Trends and Tasks. Among speakers invited were Lieven Boeve (Catholic University Leuven), Michael Hoelzl (University of Manchester), Peter Jonkers (Tilburg University), András Lánczi (Corvinus University) and Theo de Wit (Tilburg University). I gave a talk on the laestadian movement in Finland and presented an outline of our research project.

14122009106.jpgFrom the left: Tom Bailey (John Cabot University), Peter Losonczi (University of West Hungary), Aakash Singh (LUISS University Rome), David Tombs (Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin), Lieven Boeve, Peter Jonkers and the hand of Domenico Melidoro (LUISS University, Rome).

The venue of the conference was faithful to its theme. The participants stayed at Kálvin Ház -- A hotel in downtown Budapest I can warmly recommend -- and the conference dinner was served in Spinoza Restaurant:


Well done by the organizers! Corvinus University itself was originally established to honour Karl Marx, whose politico-theological relevance may appear less obvious.

My first meeting with the network can only be described as a massive succé! It was indeed a privilege to work with such an esteemed line-up of colleagues. My notes are rich with interesting excursions into new political theologies and intriguing ideas to work with over the next couple of years. Thanks again for Peter Losonczi and Akaash Singh for their effort and for inviting me along. Next year’s meeting will be held in Rome and we are planning to bring the network to Rovaniemi in 2011 or 2012. Excellent stuff!



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