Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Theologie en Religiewetenschap
Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion

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Home / Religion and socialism in the long 1960s: Encounters and legacies in Eastern and Western Europe

Religion and socialism in the long 1960s: Encounters and legacies in Eastern and Western Europe

15 Jun 2017

Draft Conference Program

University of Groningen, June 15 to 17, 2017

Conveners: Todd Weir, University of Groningen, Heléna Tóth, Bamberg University

All meetings to be held in the Old Court Room, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, Groningen

Day 1. Thursday, June 15
Registration 4.30pm
1. Keynote, 5.00pm: Gerd-Rainer Horn, Paris, “Vatican II and the spirit of ‘68”

Day 2, Friday, June 16
Morning Session, 9am: Religion and Atheism in the Soviet Bloc

  1. Heléna Tóth, Bamberg, “Making scientific atheism practical: experimenting with the socialist everyday in Hungary, 1958-1965”
  2. Justine Quijada, Wesleyan, “Buryat shamanism: from the Soviet anti-religious campaigns of the 1960s to post-Soviet revival”
  3. Victoria Smolkin, Wesleyan, “The Ticket to the Soviet Soul: Scientific Atheism’s Spiritual Turn in the 1960s and 1970s”


Afternoon Session, 2pm: Socialist-Christian interactions in Western Europe

  1. Mark Ruff, St. Louis, “Ernst-Wolfgang Boeckenfoerde and the Rapprochement of Catholicism and Socialism”
  2. Arie Molendijk, Groningen, “Willem Banning and religious socialism in the Netherlands”
  3. Sabine Rousseau, CHEC, Clermont-Ferrand, “Meeting socialist experiences: French theological places (1959-1973)”
  4. Cornelius Casey, Loyola Institute, Dublin, “Vatican II and Ireland” (not yet confirmed)
  5. Daniela Sarasella, Milan, “Liberation theology in Italy: The association of Christians for Socialism in the 1960s and 1970s”

Conference Dinner

Day 3, Saturday, June 17

Morning Session, 9am: Transnational East-West exchanges/Global perspectives

  1. Piotr H. Kosicki, University of Maryland: “Catholic responses to the Eastern European unrest of 1968“
  2. Todd Weir, Groningen, “Campaigns for and against worldview: the ‘End of Ideology’ debate in the Congress of Culture Freedom, and scientific atheism”
  3. Udi Greenberg, Dartmouth, “The rise of the Global South and Protestant rethinking of secularism”
  4. Arno Münster, Nice, “Atheism and Christianity in the views of Ernst Bloch”


Afternoon Session, 1.30pm, Legacies of the encounter of religion and socialism in Dutch society today

  1. Kim Knibbe, Groningen, TBA (Topic: “Sexuality and the Dutch Catholic Church in the 1960s”)
  2. James Kennedy, Utrecht, TBA, (invited)

Concluding discussion and planning of the joint special issue, 3pm

Accommodation: Hotel Corps de Garde, Oude Boteringestraat 74

Mobile telephone Todd Weir: +31 6 80126866

This conference has been made possible by the support of

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen