interdiac Research e-news August 2019

Introduction

We are glad to share with you the updates on the research processes which are being carried out by the participants from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia under the umbrella of the interdiac research forum. The active work of the research participants and reported outcomes brings us to the next step of summarizing and analyzing the data gathered in different contexts. You will find below the information on each research theme. In this edition we highlight the Research on Ecclesiology and Theological Understanding of Diaconia.

Ecclesiology and Theological Understanding of Diaconia

As we have already mentioned in earlier news, the term ‘Diaconia’ in this research embraces overall Christian social practice implemented by churches or faith-based organisations. Social practice is seen as fundamental to the Christian church and marks the presence of the church in the world with people. Subsequently, in the research on Ecclesiology and Diaconia, we would like to examine these and other issues taking into account the general context. This will bring in to focus the place of diaconia within the churches’ self-understanding and how this shapes the diaconal organisation, professional education and social practice in the first place. Because there are many understandings of diaconia coming from different confessions and churches, which may also have other names for it, such as Filantropia in Orthodox church or Caritas in Catholic tradition, alongside organisational specifics the theological understanding of diaconia should be considered. All these factors implicitly or explicitly encompass the activities and inform the relations between the workers and people in need and contextually unfold the connection between the church and social engagement. The findings from this research will be arranged in one publication followed by a reflective analytical chapter on the similarities and differences of understanding of diaconia in respective churches. The research will serve as a baseline for the future research project on practical implications of theoretical and theological understanding. Also, the findings from the research may reveal the needs for particular learning programmes and may serve for the development of informed, more reflective and responsible practices in the field. The final book will also be a valuable resource for learning programmes and a sign of the living diversity of Christian social practice. The preliminary case-studies carried out by the desk-researchers will be shared with the Theme Coordinator, Herman Noordegraaf in September 2019. For particular questions and comments on the content and methodology of the research process, please, contact the Theme Coordinator Herman Noordegraaf at email: h.noordegraaf@pthu.nl

Youth on the Margins

The Research Group working together through a Skype meeting reflected on findings from the interviews conducted with the young people about their lives and aspirations. All the interviews are expected to be finalized and sent to the Theme Coordinator, Jouko Porkka by the 31st of August. For the next step in the research process The Theme Coordinator will analyze the data and outline the ideas for the focus group discussions with young adults, which are planned to be conducted in September. For particular questions and comments on the content and methodology of the research process, please, contact the Theme Coordinator Jouko Porkka at his email: jouko.porkka@diak.fi

People on the Move

The local researchers are finishing their reports about the ‘climate’ towards ‘people on the move’ in their countries and are expected to share the papers with Theme Coordinator, Ulla Siirto by the 31st of August. The Theme Coordinator is going to work on the data in order to build the framework for consideration of the researched issues and to shape the future work of the project. NOTE: We are still inviting partners from other countries to join in this research theme. This is our last call to join! Please, contact the Research Coordinator about this by writing to the email at the end if the newsletter. For particular questions and comments on the content and methodology of the research process, please, contact the Theme Coordinator Ulla Siirto at email: ulla.siirto@evl.fi

What are people saying about the resources?