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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA ORTHODOXA - Ediţia nr.1-2 din 2003  

Autori:  RADU PREDA.
  Rezumat:  In his study entitled the The Culture of Dialogue and the relationship between Church and State, the author pledges, on behalf of the Romanian Orthodox Church, for the reconsideration of her relationship with the secular institutions of the State. There is a great need for shifting from a collaborationist perspective (inherited from the Communist past) towards a more critical and contextual approach, shaped in particular by the common social goals of both the Church and the State. The representatives of Romanian Orthodox Church, claims the author, must give up their old habits, which resulted into a Church policy of adaptation and survival under the very difficult political circumstances of the atheist regime. Nowadays, in Romania, one can encounter the weird paradox of having a civil society essentially shaped by the Christian values, and yet, which does not have a specific legislation specifying the terms of the religious freedom, the level of autonomy for the Churches, etc. The reason for this state of affairs can be found not only in the slow motion of the juridical procedures within the Romanian Parliament, but also in the lack of initiative on behalf of the religious (mainly Christian) organisations. In this context, the Romanian Orthodox Church should play a very important role in assessing the new terms of her relationship with the secular State, and yet, the absence of an awareness for the need of cultivating a systematic dialogue has been developed into a real handicap. In order to articulate a sound Christian social vision, the officials of the Romanian Orthodox Church have to learn how to deal with the prospect of an ongoing growth of the cultural, ethnical and religious diversity in the contemporary Romania. The juridical assessment of the relationship between Church and State represents also a prerequisite for any country pending for the integration in the European Union. In the end, the author makes a public invitation to all responsible leaders of the Romanian Orthodox Church and of the State, respectively, to set up an agenda for dialogue on the most important issues of common interest, which are now at hand (such as culture, education, social assistance). The orthodox theologians should be more aware of the dialogical and ecumenical vocation of their profession, which, in the meantime, ought not to diminish her constitutive apologetic dimension.  
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