Letter from the Luca Marulli, president

Dear friends and members of EASTRS,

As you know, following the impossibility to have a regular General Assembly during the last ETTC (2020, on Zoom) due to the COVID pandemic, I remained in charge of the EASTRS presidency despite the fact that my mandate ended in 2020. This, with the agreement of the board members, allowed the whole board to accompany certain issues such as the succession to the leadership of Spes Christiana and the organisation of the next ETTC in Hungary (March 2023).

It is with emotion and sadness, but also with joy for the future, that I announce my departure from the Campus Adventiste du Salève (France). After 13 years of happy and fulfilling work at the Adventist Faculty of Theology, I will be joining the Protestant Faculty of Theology in Strasbourg as of September 1st.

The time has thus come to ask the President-Elect, Tihomir Lazić, to assume the presidential prerogatives of EASTRS and to prepare the next General Assembly where a new President-elect shall be elected and other vacancies in the Executive Committee shall be filled. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the whole EASTRS team, Tom de Bruin, Stefan Hoeschele and Tihomir Lazić, for their serious and very competent work. Without their support and friendship I would have felt quite inadequate.

I also thank Reinder Bruinsma, Kerstin Maiwald and their collaborators for their incredible ability to ensure that Spes Christiana remains a high quality resource. I am also grateful to Laurence Turner and Paul Petersen for lending their expertise to Spes Christiana, thus ensuring its continuity after Reinder and Kerstin’s departure in the next future.

Special thanks to Imre Tokics and his team at the Hungarian Adventist Theological College, supported by Jean-Claude Verrecchia and Laszlo Gallusz, for organising the next ETTC. I will unfortunately be absent due to my new schedule, but I already know that the participants will be able to experience quality moments and even welcome the winners of the first student contest. Thank you for continuing to support our young emerging theologians, encouraging diversity and equity of access to ministry.

I also thank the officers of the Divisions represented (EUD, TED, EAD), the deans of our theological schools, and in particular Marius Munteanu and Daniel Duda for their support and encouragement of EASTRS’s initiatives to establish and develop a European network of Adventist theologians. The recent events of the war in Ukraine remind us of the urgency and importance of nurturing and preserving our international relations in a spirit of brotherhood and mutual welcome. I also have a special thought for those colleagues who, for different reasons and beyond their control, have been forced to prematurely leave the institutions they worked for. I am thinking in particular of Aulikki Nahkola, Gifford Rhamie, Tom de Bruin and Jean-Luc Rolland. This is a personal loss for us, and a significant human, spiritual and theological loss for the Church. I wish them to continue to shine in spite of everything, confident that the Lord will sustain them and continue to bless them.

I wish a very good continuation of work to my dear friends and brothers of the board and to all of you who, by your presence and participation, make this network meaningful.

Thank you for the fraternal affection you have always expressed towards me. I am happy to think that what we have built at the interpersonal level will endure, by the grace of God.

May God continue to abundantly bless your ministry and the fruit of your dedicated and responsible work.

Warm greetings,

Luca Marulli

Student Essay Competition

We are delighted to announce the first European Adventist of Society of Theology and Religious Studies student essay competition. The competition is open to those studying theology or religious studies at university or college.

The winning students will have their essays published in Spes Christianathe flagship academic journal of European Adventism. Some winners will also have the opportunity to present their work to the members of EASTRS at their meeting in Budapest, Hungary in 2023.

This is an amazing opportunity for a young scholar to take part in the European Adventist academic community, both through publishing and networking.

The essay should relate to the topic of tensions, conflicts and wars in the Bible, church and society. This topic can be broadly interpreted.

The Executive board members will shortlist and judge the entries. The editors of Spes Christiana might require some changes to the essay to make it suitable for publication.

Any questions about this competition can be sent to webmaster@eastrs.org.

Submission requirements

  • Essays should be approximately 2500 words (excluding footnotes).
  • The essay should be academic in tone and style, suitable for academic publication. Do not submit a blog post, sermon.
  • The student must have written the essay themself, and follow accepted academic practice for usage of sources and authorship.
  • The paper can be submitted in English, French or German.
  • The submission must not be under consideration for publication anywhere else.
  • The deadline is December 18th, 2022.

Regulations

To qualify for entry, the student must be associated with the Adventist church, must be a student at an Adventist or public university or college (not high school), and they should be studying one of the fields that fall under the purview of EASTRS (e.g. theology, religious studies, biblical studies, archaeology).

The student must live or study in one of the countries in Europe (broadly taken to be any country in the TED, EUD or ESD). If in doubt whether you qualify, contact webmaster@eastrs.org.

Students cannot be doing a doctorate, they should be enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s degree (or equivalent).

Submission

To participate in this competition, contact webmaster@eastrs.org with the following information:

  • Name
  • Title of paper
  • Short summary/abstract (<100 words)
  • Country of residence
  • University/College
  • Degree and current year of study
  • And, of course, the paper!

 

Collonges hosts theological conference

From June 25th to 27th , the Campus adventiste du Salève hosted the third edition of the ‘Rendez-vous de la pensée protestante‘ in Collonges. Some 80 teachers and students from all French-speaking theological faculties (France, Belgium and Switzerland), whether Reformed, Lutheran, Evangelical or Adventist, took part in this edition.

The topic discussed this year, in continuation of the previous edition, was ‘The Authority of Scripture’.

A public round table was also held on the theme “Law of God, laws of the Republic”. It allowed not only to measure the tension that can exist between temporal authority and spiritual authority but also to highlight the necessary complementarity and the crossovers that can exist, underlining in particular the freedom of conscience and the transforming scope of the Gospel, even in the public sphere.

Participation in the Adventist worship service, shared meals, musical moments, a meditative walk, group discussions, etc. also contributed to the richness of the event which, in the end, was theologically stimulating, relationally friendly and spiritually rich.

The Collonges faculty was represented by Daniela Gelbrich, professor of Old Testament, and Nuvind Seenundun, a Mauritian pastor who is currently on leave to pursue his studies at Collonges.