CESNUR - center for studies on new religions


organized by CESNUR, Center for Religious Studies and Research at Vilnius University, and New Religions Research and Information Center 

Vilnius, Lithuania, April 9-12 2003 

University of Vilnius – Universiteto Str. 3, Vilnius


 Updated last: Monday, April 14, 2003

Wednesday April 9, 2003

6.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. Registration (Baltpark Hotel)
8.00 p.m.

Welcome Cocktail (Baltpark Hotel; included in the registration fee, no separate registration necessary)

Introducing: Massimo INTROVIGNE

Religion in Lithuania: An Introduction – Speaker(s) to be announced


Thursday, April 10, 2003

8.00 a.m. - 9.30 a.m. Registration (University)
9.30 a.m. - 11.15 a.m
Session 1 (Plenary) (Theatre hall)

Religion, Democracy, and New Religious Movements

Chair and Respondent: J. Gordon MELTON

Greetings by prof. habil. dr. Juozas Vidmantis VAITKUS, Prorector, Vilnius University

What Are We Really Studying – Eileen BARKER (London School of Economics)

A Typology of New Religious Movements and Its Empirical Indicators – Tadeusz DOKTOR (University of Warsaw)

Fighting the three Cs: Cults, Comics, and Communists – The Critic of Popular Culture as Origin of Contemporary Anti-Cultism – Massimo INTROVIGNE (CESNUR)

11.15 a.m - 11.30 a.m. Coffee Break
11.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
Session 2 (Room A)

Religion and Democracy in Poland I

Chair: Tadeusz DOKTOR

“Metaphorical Models of Europe”: The Standpoint of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland and Czech Republic Towards the European Integration and European Union – Katarzyna LESZCZYNSKA (Ph. D. Candidate, Center for European Studies, Jagellonian University, Krakow)

New Religions and Strategies of Dealing with Accusations: The Case of Brahma Kumaris in Poland – Agnieszka KOSCIANSKA (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Warsaw University)

The State’s Policy Concerning Religious Minorities in Poland – Agnieszka MIKULSKA (Staff Member, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Warsaw)


Session 3 (Room B)

Religion, Democracy, and Esoteric Movements

Chair: Valdas MACKELA

Notes on the Aumist Religion - PierLuigi ZOCCATELLI (CESNUR, Torino)

Swedenborg in Russia: West Meets East – Jane WILLIAMS-HOGAN (Bryn Athyn College)

David Wojnarowicz: The “Pre-Invented Existence” of Religion and the Secular “State of Grace” – J. Edgar BAUER (University of Edinburgh)

1.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. Lunch (pre-registration through registration form mandatory) (Vilnius University Caffee)
2.30 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.
Session 4 (Room A)

Religion and Democracy in Russia I


The New Religious Movements in Russia at Present – Veronica K. KRAVCHOUK (Academy of State Service under the President of Russia, Moscow)

How Religious Are the Contemporary Russian Intellectuals? A Comparison of Two Generations – Inna Veniaminovna NALETOVA (Institute of Socio-Political Research, Moscow)


Session 5 (Room B)

Religion and Democracy in Poland II

Chair: Agnieszka KOSCIANSKA

The Image of Sects in the Polish Ultra-Catholic Press – Monika MILEWSKA (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)

The Making of an Oazowicz and Social Change in Poland – Esther PEPERKAMP (School of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam)

Freedom of Religion and Conscience in Poland – Myth or Reality? – Katarzyna ZIELINSKA (Center of European Studies, Jagellonian University, Krakow)

Why People Join New Religious Movements in Poland?- Marta ZIMNIAK-HALAYKO (Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw)

4.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m Coffee Break
4.30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Session 6 (Room A)

Religion and Democracy in Russia II

Chair: Eileen BARKER

Religious or Non-religious: the Principles of Identification – Tatiana TOMAEVA (Institute for Comprehensive Research in Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

Traditional and Untraditional: Paradoxes of Coexisting – Marina V. VOROBJOVA (Russian Christian Institute for the Humanities, St. Petersburg)

Church as an Institute of Socialization in Post-Soviet Society – Olga J. BRESKAJA (Ph. D. candidate, Moscow State University)

Session 7 (Room B)

Christianity and the New Age

Chair: Andrea MENEGOTTO

Relations between New Age and the Christian Churches – Reender KRANENBORG (Free University of Amsterdam)

New Age and Fundamentalism – Tadeusz DOKTOR (Warsaw University)

Peculiarity of the New Age Movement in a Catholic Country: The Case of Poland – Dorota HALL (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)

New Age and Polish Right-Wing Catholicism – Zbigniew MIKOLEJKO (Director, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)


6.15 p.m. - 6.45 p.m
Session 8 (Teatre hall)

Romuva (Introduction to Field Trip)

Chairing and Introducing: Donatas GLODENIS

What is Romuva – Inija TRINKUNIENE (Institute for Social Research, Vilnius)

followed by
Field Trip (walking trip from the University to Gediminas Grave Hill to attend a Romuva Rite of Fire; return to downtown Vilnius expected around 8:30 p.m.; included in the registration fee, no separate registration necessary)

Dinner on your own

Friday, April 11, 2003

9.30 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.

Session 9 (Plenary) (Theatre hall)

Religion and Democracy after September 11

Chair: Reender KRANENBORG

Al-Qaeda as a New Religious Movement – J. Gordon MELTON (Institute for the Study of American Religion)

Militant Islam in America: Examing the Rhetoric from the White House to Church and AcademyJames BEVERLEY (Tyndale Seminary, Toronto)

The Impact of September 11 on New Religious Movements – Jean-François MAYER (University of Fribourg)

11.15 a.m.- 11.30 a.m. Coffee Break
11.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.

Session 10 (Room B)

Religion and Democracy in Ukraine I

Chair: Nikandrs GILLS

Umma or Nation? Religious Revival among Crimean Tatars and Its Impact on Social Changes in Crimea – Kurtmolla ADULGANUYEV (Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)

Images of Ukrainian Young People’s Quest for Transcendence – Sarah BOWERS (Doctoral Student, King’s College, London)

Religion and Politics in Ukraine – Yuriy HALAYKO (Center for Eastern Studies, Warsaw)


Session 11 (Room A)

Religion and Democracy in Hungary and Romania

Chair: Ringo RINGVEE

Religious Group Contributing to Emergence of Civil Society in Hungary – Zsuzsanna BOGRE (Catholic University of Pázmány)

New Religious Movements’ Opinions on the Hungarian Society – Peter TOROK (University of Szeged)

Alternative Modernities in Europe: Modernity, Religion and Secularization in South-Eastern Europe – The Romanian Case – Dan DUNGACIU (University of Bucharest)

Session 12 (Room C)

Religious Conflict Old and New 

Chair: Peter TOROK

The Term “Sect” as a Phenomenon of a Repressive Social Consciousness – Arunas PESKAITIS (New Religions Research and Information Center, Vilnius)

"Cults" and the Government in France after the 2002 Electoral Defeat of the Socialist Party - Régis DERICQUEBOURG (University of Lille)

A presentation of the European Pluralism Project, runned by the Center for Multireligious Studies, University of Aarhus, Denmark - Mogens AMSTRUP (The Danish Pluralism Projekt)

1.00 p.m.- 2.30 p.m. Lunch (pre-registration through registration form mandatory)

2.30 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.
Session 13  (Room A)

Religion and Democracy in Ukraine II


Church, Society and Religious Minorities in Ukraine – Oleksandr MAYSTER (Ph.D. candidate, Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences, Kiev)

Peculiarities of Understanding the Freedom of Conscience and Formation of the Image of New Religions in the Secular Common Mind of Ukraine (1991-2001) - Olena Eduardivna NYKYTCHENKO (Odesa National Law Academy, Odesa)

The phenomenon of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy: inter-civilizational roots, identificational priorities, and jurisdictional perspectives – Andrij YURASH (Ph.D. candidate, Ivan Franko L’viv National University)

Inter-Confessional Conflicts in Galicia 1988-1998: Phases, the Main Problems, Regional Specifics – Antin SLOBODA (Catholic University, L’viv)


Session 14 (Room B)

Missionary Activities Old and New

Chair: Jolanta Kuznecoviene

Seeking Converts in Mormon Utah: Proselytizing During the Salt Lake Olympics - Michael HOMER (CESNUR USA, Salt Lake City)

The Alpha Programme: Evangelism in a Post-Christian Age – Stephen HUNT (School of Sociology, University of the West of England)

Unifying or Dividing? Reverend Moon’s Family Federation and Mainstream Christianity – George CHRYSSIDES (University of Wolverhampton)

Church and Commitment to the Poor in Lithuania - Anele VOSYLIUTE (Institute for Social Research, Vilnius)

4.15 p.m. - 4.30 p.m Coffee Break
4.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.
Session 15 (Room A)

Satanism East and West

Chair: J. Gordon MELTON

The Manifestations of Satanism in Catholic Lithuania: History, Fears and Statistics – Milda ALISAUSKIENE (New Religions Research and Information Center, Vilnius)

Italian Martyrs of Satanism: Sister Laura Mainetti and Father Giorgio Govoni – Andrea MENEGOTTO (CESNUR, Milan)

Satanic Groups in Contemporary Poland – Rafal SMOCZYNSKI (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)


Session 16 (Room B)

Muslim Minorities and Majorities after September 11

Chair: Massimo INTROVIGNE

Nation-States and Religious Minorities: Muslims in the Balkans – Ina MERDJANOVA (Veliko Turnovo University, Bulgaria)

Religiously Neutral Value Education in a Muslim Country? The Case of Egypt – Johanna PINK (University of Tübingen)

Freedom of Expression vs. Expression of Freedom in Post-Modern Islam – Younes SOUALHI (International Islamic University of Malaysia)

Islamic Religiousity in Indonesia in the Wake of Democratisation and September 11th: The New Age and the Changing Limits of Pluralism - Julia Day HOWELL (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)


Session 17 (Room C)

Religion and Democracy: Some Case Studies

Chair: George CHRYSSIDES

The Context and Some Dilemmas of Managing Legal Position of (New) Religious Communities in Slovenia – Ales ČRNIČ and Gregor LESJAK (University of Ljubljana)

The Dimension of Religious Experience: The Study of Religious Changes and Values in Croatia – Ankika MARINOVIC BOBINAC and Hana FRANCETIC (Zagreb)

Americanization as Convergent Process in World’s Religious Life and Religious Anti-Americanism – Eduard MARTINYUK (Odesa National University, Odesa)

7.00 p.m.
Dinner: “How to Set Up a (Low-Budget) Information Center” (Vilnius University Caffee)

Dinner discussion introduced by Eileen Barker (INFORM), Massimo INTROVIGNE (CESNUR), Mogens AMSTRUP (The Danish Pluralism Project), Rita Serpytyte (VU Centre for Religious Studies), and Donatas GLODENIS (New Religions Research and Information Center, Vilnius) (pre-registration through registration form mandatory)

Saturday, April 12, 2003

9.30 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
Session 18  (Room A)

Religion and Democracy in Latvia and Estonia

Chair: Donatas GLODENIS

Christian Science in Latvia: Has the Last Obstacle Been Overcome? – Nikandrs GILLS (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Riga)

Maybe Shambhala is Here: Esoteric Quests in Latvia Today – Solveiga KRUMINA-KONKOVA (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Riga)

Minority Religions and the Mainstream Society – Challenges from Both Side: The Estonian Example – Ringo RINGVEE (Department of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Republic of Estonia)

Post-Modern Culture: Changes in Religiosity and Spirituality – Maija KULE (Director, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Riga)


Session 19 (Room B)

Religious Liberty Issues

Chair: Michael W. HOMER

Can Sociologists and New Religious Movements Really Listen to Each Other? – Sébastien GREGOV (M.A. Candidate, Strasbourg University)

Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Religion and the Protection of Religious Feelings – Gidon SAPIR and Daniel STATMAN (University of Haifa)

Ultra-Modern Democracies and Autonomy: Towards a New Process of Subjectivation? – Christine COSTA (Doctoral Candidate, University of Paris VIII)

Religious Community as an Interest Group in Democratic and Nondemocratic Societies – Maria MARCZEWSKA-RYTKO (Faculty of Political Science, UMCS, Lublin)

Section 20 (Room C)

Esotericism, Paganism, and Santo Daime

Chair: PierLuigi ZOCCATELLI 

The “Quasi-Religion” of Reiki – Andrea MENEGOTTO (CESNUR, Milan)

Disarming the Dream Police: The Case of the Santo Daime – Diana TRIMBLE (Petaluma, California)

When the Father and the Creator Became One: A Note on Gnosis and Jan van Rijckenborgh – Jean-Claude PASCAL (Mareil sur Mauldre, France)

Possible Reasons for Monotheistic Intolerance – Frederic LAMOND (Consultant and Lecturer)

11.15 a.m.- 11.30 a.m. Coffe Break
11.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.

Session 21 (Plenary Farewell Session) (Theatre hall)

Religion and Democracy in Lithuania

Chair: Jean-François MAYER

The Role of Religion in the Emergency of Civil Society in Lithuania – Andrius NAVICKAS (New Religions Research and Information Center, Vilnius)

Legislation on Religion and the Challenge of Pluralism in Lithuania: some new developments – Donatas GLODENIS (Ministry of Justice, Vilnius)

Religious Attitudes and Identity Construction Process in Lithuania Jolanta KUZNECOVIENE (Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)

Transformation of Religious Tradition and Ethnic Self-Identification of the East European (Polish, Lithuanian, and Crimean) Karaites (Karaims) in the 19-20th Centuries – Mikhail KIZILOV (Szkola Nauk Spolecznych, Warsaw)

1.00 p.m.- 2.30 p.m. Lunch (pre-registration through registration form mandatory)

Luncheon briefing on the field trip by Donatas GLODENIS

2.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Field Trip: The Karaites of Trakai

The trip (leaving from University) will take us to the Karaite Community in Trakai (see Session 21; pre-registration through registration form mandatory)

8.00 p.m. Banquet: Religion and Democracy East and West
(Restaurant “Baltasis Stralis”)

(City Hall; speaker[s] to be announced; pre-registration through registration form mandatory)

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Those remaining in Vilnius are invited to attend the Palm Sunday Roman Catholic pilgrimage and procession to the Ostra Brama icon of the Virgin Mary, an important (and colourful) religious and cultural event. Explanations will be provided. Participants should meet at 9 a.m. at the entrance of the Catholic Cathedral.



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