The CEU Center for Religious Studies 6th annual PhD conference took a new shape and form this year. As of this year, the event is now held under the auspices of CESAR, the Central European Symposium for the Academic Study of Religion, a new coalition of universities from across the Central European region run entirely by doctoral students that CRS founded together with it's five partners: Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Charles University (Prague, CZ), Department of Comparative Religion, Comenius University (Bratislava, SK), Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Pardubice (Pardubice, CZ), Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University (Brno, CZ), and the Department of Religious Studies, University of Szeged (Szeged, HU).
By unanimous decision of the coalition PhD steering committee, the event was hosted this year by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at University of Pardubice, Czech Republic from 1-3 September 2022.
The conference brought together around 30 PhD and MA students and guest speakers from across the region together to consider this year's theme Transformations of Religions in Times of Crises: Spiritual Alienation and Rethinking of Ethics.
The opening keynote on 1 September 2022 was delivered by Professor András Máté-Tóth (Szeged University) on Security and Religion in Today's Central Eastern Europe: Inspirative Hommage al Giddens, Berger and Inglehart, where he expanded on his theory concerning the wounded collective identity facing the Central European region.
The closing keynote on 3 September 2022 was delivered by Philosopher Hugo Strandberg (Åbo Akademi University) on Faith and the General Equivalent questioned the human understanding of the notions on which many of the assumptions about religious altruism and behavior are based.
Overall eight panels covered a range of themes connected to the theme and two panels even directly addressed the current situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
CEU was represented by CRS Coordinator, Esther Holbrook (featured center), ACRS Alumni Gabriel Paxton (featured left) and Péter Boros (featured right).
Both Boros, with his research entitled Redefining Buddhism and the Place of Religion in Late 19th - Early 20th Century China, and Paxton, with his research Under God's Consent: An Examination of Christian Nationalism as a Driver of Competitive Authoritarian Politics in the United States and Hungary, presented in Panel One of the conference.
With a full three day program including city tours, keynote lectures, panel sessions and informal workshop events, the CESAR 2022 Conference kept participants engaged and inspired.
CEU thanks Pardubice University for their generous hosting of the event. Congratulations many thanks to Vilém Skopal, head of the organizing PhD team at Pardubice, for his excellent logistical work and all the other PhD student with whom this entire event depended.
We are looking forward to CESAR 2023, now planned for Szeged University, Hungary!