About the Congress


The aim of the International Congress “Creation – Transformation – Theology” is to bring perspectives from the various theological disciplines together and develop a new, innovative and practice-oriented theology of creation and ethics of sustainability. Thereby, the Congress is also meant to contribute to a “transformation” of Catholic theology in a global perspective – in the sense of a performative and liberating theology. The dialogue between science and practice plays a central role in this endeavour.

The relevance of theology’s contribution to addressing the current transformation processes will be explored and theological research from across Europe will be brought together with regards to the Congress theme.

The present Covid-19 pandemic sheds light on the limitations of contemporary models of society in an eminent way. In the face of apocalyptic crisis scenarios, it is important to disclose and reflect on religious depths and motivational forces within the quest for a good life for all that is embedded in the planetary boundaries.

On the opening night (Wednesday, 25 August), a panel discussion will open up the conference topic with regards to the current ecological challenges and their political, societal and religious implications. Building on this, the topic will be further developed and discussed philosophically, theologically, and in ethical as well as practical perspectives on the following days of the Congress.

On Thursday, the first steps on this path will be two keynote addresses on philosophical perspectives, followed by two presentations regarding creation theologies. On Friday, the latter will be linked back to the biblical foundations of a theological reflection on creation and transformation, but at the same time will encourage a creation-theological re-reading of scripture. Subsequently, innovative systematic-theological perspectives on the Congress theme will be developed in another set of two keynote presentations.

On Saturday, a second podium will offer space for an ethical and practical-theological discussion of the Congress topic, in dialogue with concepts of sustainability education and sustainable transformation. A focus will be on interdenominational and interreligious perspectives as well as the interplay between theory and practice. As a thematic conclusion of the Congress, an “external impulse” will be given to European theology from a Latin American viewpoint of liberation theology. It is meant to broaden the horizon of creation- and eco-theological questions towards current global transformation processes.

On two afternoons, parallel sections for presentations and workshops will be held. A respective Call for Papers and a Call for Best Practice Projects have been launched. Established and emerging scholars are invited to present their theological, RE- or church-related research or practice projects in the topic area of creation – sustainability – transformation. In addition, further workshops will be offered together with various cooperation partners to facilitate exchange and networking between researchers and practitioners.

An additional Call for Posters will enable emerging scholars to present more of their own research projects during the Congress. Furthermore, an “Emerging Scholars Conference” (on Wednesday before the opening night) will give young academics the space and opportunity to work independently on the Congress topic. Established scientists are cordially invited to join in and be inspired by the emerging scholars’ perspectives.

During the Congress, the ESCT Book Prize “Theological Book of the Years 2019-2020” will be awarded in the categories “established scholars” and “emerging scholars”.

The interaction of various theological, scientific and cultural backgrounds of speakers and participants will certainly allow for a highly interesting interdenominational, interreligious and intercultural dialogue throughout the Congress.

In charge of preparations:
Prof. Dr. Margit Eckholt, Professor of Dogmatics with Fundamental Theology, Osnabrück University, Vice President of the European Society for Catholic Theology