Cardinal Jozef De Kesel and the Archdiocese of Mechelen (Malines)-Brussels,
in collaboration with the KU Leuven, the UC Louvain and the Malines Conversations Group,
are honoured to invite you to the centenary commemoration of the Malines Conversations (1921-2021)
and to the International Ecumenical Congress:

The Significance of
the Malines Conversations:
Historical and Theological
Perspectives

Mechelen (Malines), December 1-5, 2021

For the academic organizing committee: Peter De Mey, Joris Geldhof, David Hamid, Jamie Hawkey, Keith Pecklers, Thomas Pott

In 2021 there will be a festive commemoration of the original Malines Conversations, the first round of which took place exactly 100 years ago. The Malines Conversations have been a source of inspiration for ecumenical dialogue ever since, especially between Roman Catholics and Anglicans. It is worthwhile to investigate how the cause of ecumenism can be stimulated today through an appeal to the historic Malines Conversations.

An academic conference will be organized from Wednesday December 1 till Friday December 3 2021 in the city of Mechelen/Malines. It will precede the solemn commemoration of the Malines Conversations, which will take place on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December 2021. The language of the conference is English, but it is possible to present papers in other languages such as French and German as well.

The conference revolves around three major axes of reflection, each of which provokes a set of questions. However, the questions below are not an exhaustive list of possible topics at the conference.

Historical: What were the major factors impacting on the ecclesial and societal context against the background of which the Malines Conversations took place? How did they influence future scholars and Church leaders in the Catholic Church, the Anglican communion, and beyond? How does one look back today on the original Malines Conversations?

Systematic: Which models or paradigms are there for promoting the cause of ecumenism? What are the major threats or obstacles for progress in ecumenical dialogue? Which role can or should liturgy and sacraments play in ecumenism? Which approaches in ecumenism, theology and spirituality can align themselves with the historic Malines Conversations? In what sense should one reinterpret classical patterns of authority, hierarchy, and ministry?

Missionary: How important is ecumenism for the mission of the Church? And reversely, how important is mission for ecumenism? What are the underlying anthropological assumptions for a missionary and ecumenical Church? How can one understand notions such as communion, solidarity and service from an ecumenical perspective? What is the role of baptism and Christian initiation for leading a faithful life? To what extent is the Eucharist a motor or a stumbling block for ecumenism?

For the conference about the ‘Significance of the Malines Conversations: Historical and Theological Perspectives’, which will take place in Mechelen/Malines from December 1-3 2021, we invite both junior and senior scholars in theology, ecumenism, Church history, liturgy, hermeneutics and cognate fields to share their research and ideas. Please send an abstract of approximately 250 words to centenary@malinesconversations.org before June 21 2021. You will receive a notification of acceptance before July 1 2021.

Should you wish to publish your contribution in the volume which will be published shortly after the conference, please inform the organizers about your intentions and submit a full text in good English of 6000-8000 words including footnotes to the abovementioned address before December 31 2021. The editors of the volume guarantee a blind peer review procedure and aim at producing a reference book of the highest academic quality.

Draft Programme

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1st

Afternoon

Arrivals

Evening

OPENING OF THE CONGRESS
His Eminence Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, Archbishop of Mechelen (Malines)-Brussels
The Right Revd and Right Hon Lord Williams of Oystermouth
His Excellency Johan Bonny, Bishop of Antwerp

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2nd

Morning

Re-narrating the Malines Conversations
Jeremy Morris
Peter De Mey

Parallel Sessions

Afternoon

Hermeneutical problems, ecumenical methodology
Thomas Pott
Sarah Coakley

Parallel Sessions

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3d

Morning

Common problems and challenges:

MISSION AS GIFT TO THE CHURCH
Angela Tilby
Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator

LITURGY AS GIFT TO THE CHURCH
Lizette Larson-Miller
Arnaud Join-Lambert

Parallel Sessions

Afternoon

From informal dialogues at Malines 1921
to fruitful and effective structures of dialogue 100 years later:
Panel discussion between representatives of IARCCUM and ARCIC

Conclusions

Evening

Concert

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4th

Morning & afternoon

Parallel programmes

Evening

Vespers in St-Rombout’s Cathedral

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5th

Morning

Sunday worship

Afternoon

Solemn session in St-Rombout’s Cathedral

Solemn Evensong

Practical information

Practical information will be made available after July 2021

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