Thomas Bremer

Bremer, ThomasThomas Bremer is Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Eastern Churches Studies and Peace Studies, Münster University, Germany. His areas of interest are the history Orthodoxy in Russia and in the Balkans, the impact of religion on political processes, and theory of ecumenical processes. He has widely published in these areas.

As a part of his fellowship with at the NYU Jordan center, Dr. Bremer will research which strategies the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has used and still uses in order to strengthen its societal position. How does the Church determine and articulate its positions? Are there patterns or models which can be explained by history or theology of the ROC? Are there questions in which the ROC assumes a critical stance towards the state, and how does it act in such cases? Bremer intends to explore several case studies (the war in Syria, the law against blasphemy, the introduction of religious education in public schools, the Crimean crisis) for which he will analyze statements of the church leadership, and compare these positions with those of the Russian “mainstream,” above all with those of the government. Bremer plans to pay special attention to the question of whether and how the ROC has changed its position on these issues.

photographer:  Niina Into, Helsinki