Keynote speakers

Gordon M. Burghardt (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Ralph W. Hood (The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga)

Guy G. Stroumsa (Martin Buber Professor Emeritus, The Hebrew University at Jerusalem)

Guido Vanheeswijck (University of Antwerp, University of Leuven)


Understanding different forms of religious life requires taking into consideration wider civilizational background against which religious beliefs and practices make sense. Religion as a vital element of culture not only has inspired great historical shifts but also has been shaped by them in crucial ways. The perfect illustration of this interdependence between religion and other important aspects of culture – political, moral, intellectual – is The Protestant Reformation.  During our conference we would like to focus on two major epochal changes – the Axial Age and the Secular Age – and reflect upon both religious sources that underlie them as well as the impact they had on religion itself.