The 23rd. International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality, it has been announced, will be held at Bose, Switzerland from 9-12 September 2015 in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches.
They will meet under the title “Mercy and forgiveness”, as chosen by the scientific committee of the ecumenical conferences, which met in Bose on 4-5 October 2014. They say, “The experience of evil, of the suffering that human beings inflict on one another seems to mark the human adventure from the very beginning. Yet God reveals himself as the God of mercy and compassion (Ex 34,5); mercy is the face of God that Jesus reveals to men.
By interrogating Scripture, the fathers and the monastic tradition (Dorotheus of Gaza, John Climacus, Isaac of Nineveh, the saints of the Slavic, Greek, Romanian, Coptic traditions), the conference wishes to reflect on Christian forgiveness. This is a road that passes through the knowledge of one’s own sins and the acceptance of offered forgiveness. Some testimonies of mercy, disciples of Christ meek and humble of heart, will speak to us of the power and the prophetic force of forgiveness. Sharing perspectives, listening to the Word of God and the great tradition of the Orthodox Churches, the conference hopes to affront the questions that are asked of Christian hope. How can God’s pardon be announced today? How can wounded memory be healed? Where can the joy of forgiveness between Churches and between men be found? What are today the places of Christian forgiveness (spouses that separate, rebuilding trust after conflicts, re-composition of relations between persons and in communities)?
The cross of the Messiah is the judgment that “does truth” on good and evil and opens the time and space of God’s mercy and his forgiveness. This is the forgiveness that Christians are called upon to receive and to transmit to their fellow brothers and sisters.
Among the speakers we expect the official representatives of all the Orthodox Churches, of the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, Biblical scholars, patrologists, theologians, monks of the East and of the West, philosophers, and writers from all over the world.
The conference is open to all; the definitive program will be published on this site shortly.”