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European Regional Conference
Prague, 23. - 26. April 2025

"Finding Resilience and Faith in Fractures Developments"

How do we understand fractured development, fragility and resilience
in relation to the understanding of youth, youth ministry and faith?

The next European regional conference will be held in the beautiful city of Prague on April 23th - 26th, 2025. Below you will find the relevant informations that are available now. The call for papers is out now. When we open for conference registration, it will also be available on this page.



IASYM Regional Conference: Prague, 23-26 April, 2025

Call for Papers

FINDING RESILIENCE AND FAITH IN FRACTURED DEVELOPMENTS

Whereas reflections within Youth Ministry frequently assume 'normal/healthy development' of young people and more or less intact places of youth ministry practices, it is actually more accurate to reflect from a perspective of 'fragile/fractured development' of humanity and in our focus, children and youth in particular. We might think of the fractured contexts surrounding the developmental course of children and young people themselves: through war, through social exclusion, through broken families, or problems in terms of well-being and mental health. We might also think of fractured development on the level of societies, and churches in those societies: what might theology/youth ministry sources add to finding new ways of resilience and faith in a variety of societal challenges that at the core can be understood as meaning making challenge? Fractured developments can also be envisioned for youth growing up living simultaneously in offline and online worlds, recently co-shaped by various AI applications.

The conference theme “Finding Resilience and Faith in Fractured Developments” invites contributions that engage with notions of fractured development, fragility and resilience in relation to the understanding of youth, youth ministry and faith:

  • ·        Fractured development applies to all times: how might historical perspectives on fractured contexts of development be recontextualized for practices of youth ministry nowadays?
  • ·        The covid pandemic as a worldwide cause of fractured developments is not far behind us: what are the effects on the lives, faith and resilience of young people and on practices in youth ministry?
  • ·        How can the impact of various AI applications be understood in terms of the (religious) development of young people and youth ministry practices? How do youth themselves link, mix, or combine their spiritual development and technology?
  • ·        Various contexts of fractured developments have existed between persons including the disturbing realities in the lives of young people that are integrated into their development: domestic violence, neglect, decline of mental health, poverty.  What formal and informal structures in youth ministry address these ruptures? In what ways has youth ministry specifically sought to nurture those exposed to these realities? How can youth ministry contribute to healing these ruptures and effect change?
  • ·        Whether in an historical reflection or in current society, fractures can be found between generations. How can youth ministry work intergenerationally to address fractures or even repair?
  • ·        In Europe nowadays, the reality of war and threat of war is close to many: what does this fundamental experience mean for faith and resilience among a generation of young Christians in Europe? In what ways does the threat of war or the reality of war interact with the experiences of older generations currently marking the end of World War II? How can the very different war histories of Eastern and Western Europe then and experiences of war now inform youth ministry across Europe?
  • ·        In Europe nowadays, migration is a reality, but one that is highly debated. How can youth ministries address the social and spiritual fractures this subject brings in Christian communities? In what ways might youth with an experience of migration help youth ministries across Europe address current fractures in spiritual development? 

Proposals are invited for research papers, a dialogue, workshop, or roundtable discussion, or an emerging research paper:

  • ·        Research Papers present new research that is ready to be presented and critically engaged by a formal respondent as well as group discussion. Research Papers will be chosen by the academic committee to be presented as a keynote address or in an elective session.
  • ·        Dialogue, workshop, or roundtable discussions present a topic that will benefit from interaction from diverse perspectives. These sessions are most often presented by a team of scholars who have worked together to frame the dialogue. Dialogue, workshop, or roundtable discussions may be chosen by the academic committee to be presented as a keynote session or in an elective session.
  • ·        Emerging Research sessions provide an opportunity to share ‘works-in-progress’ and developing thoughts as well as completed ideas not yet established in a formal paper. These sessions provide an opportunity for new or emerging researchers (whether engaged in formal study or as a thoughtful practitioner) to receive feedback in a constructive environment, or for seasoned researchers to road-test preliminary project ideas. Emerging research will be presented in elective sessions.

Abstracts for presentation proposals are due by Friday, 1 October 2024 using this submission form.

The academic committee will provide notification of paper acceptance on Monday 4 November 2024.

Full-text papers will need to be submitted by 23 February 2025. Presenters are requested to ensure that your paper meets the author instructions for the Journal of Youth and Theology: https://brill.com/fileasset/downloads_products/Author_Instructions/JYT.pdf

The academic committee consists of: Amy Casteel (KU Leuven, Belgium), Becca Dean (Ridley Hall Cambridge / Durham University, UK), Daniel Puia-Dumitrescu (Lucian Blaga University Sibiu, Romania), and Jos de Kock (ETF Leuven, Belgium).

For more information, please contact the chair of the Academic Committee, Prof. Dr. Jos de Kock, jos.dekock@etf.edu.

You can download the call for papers as pdf.


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