Globethics.net's Executive Director, Obiora Ike, was a speaker at the 21st International Renovabis Congress, the largest Christian engagement for the renewal of Eastern Europe, organised in Munich, Germany at the University's Faculty of Philosophy from 6-8 September 2017.
The International Renovabis Congress, has taken place every year since 1997 with the focus this year on 'The Crisis as a Chance for Europe! - The Responsibility of the Churches'. The Congress serves as a space for information and discussion about important clerical and societal developments in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as on subjects of pan-European significance. The Congress is also an occasion to build a dialogue between East and West.
Congress participants tried to address the causes of many people's discomfort in regard to the present condition of Europe's politics and societies and the churches' responsibility for the present and future picture of Europe. They attempted to answer questions such as, "Is there a European foundation of values that we can return to?" and "What contribution can the churches make?"
Numerous universities and church leaders, politicians, activists and pastoral ministers were invited to this three-day event and made their contribution to the topic. The President of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, spoke in his greeting about the Congress as "an important forum for exchanges and meetings between the West and the East of Europe. The issue was challenging, in particular, Christians have to ask themselves what they can do to bring new life to the idea of a European peace order". Cardinal Marx also recalled that the foundations of the political and social orders were no longer accepted in Western countries. Against this background, the question is, "How can we help Christians to protect and strengthen the positive achievements of freedom and justice for all, and thus effectively counter the development of authoritarian and nationalist concepts?"
On Thursday 8 September 2017, Obiora Ike was invited to be a speaker on the discussion panel on 'Europe in crisis - interior and exterior views' together with Dr Alena Alshanskaya (Mainz, Germany), Dr Michael Kuhn (Brüssels, Belgium), Prof. Dr. Thomas Sternberg (Bonn, Germany), and Burkhard Haneke (Freising, Germany) as the moderator. During his speech on 'Globethics.net and the service of applied ethics as resource useful for the churches, the youth and authorities responsible for governance in society' Dr. Ike emphasised the need for:
- a moral and ethical compass for all levels of society during this time of confusion and crisis that is being experienced in Europe;
- courageous leadership knowledgeable enough on the issues on the crisis in Europe;
- find the answers to the main issues of identity and cultural history in Europe and expand the scope by learning from other experiences; and
- increase knowledge-sharing tools for the youth towards achieving a world that is for everybody, promoting life, ethical principles and the churches' responsibility as a moral voice in society to speak out for all.
As a result of Dr Ike's intervention during the Congress three universities from Georgia, Hungary and Germany are interested in developing closer cooperation with Globethics.net.