Prof.dr. A. Brüning

Endowed professor of Orthodoxy and Peace Studies in Europe

Chair "Orthodoxy and Peace Studies in Europe" VU/PThU Amsterdam (NL)
Lecturer Eastern Christianity (Eastern Europe), Institute for Eastern Christian Studies,  Radboud University Nijmegen (NL)

About Alfons Brüning

At PThU I represent the studies of the Orthodox Christian East, with a focus on the Byzantine rite tradition, and the history, culture and theology in countries like Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic States, Romania etc. Research, lecturing and publication activities so far have touched fields such as

  1. Orthodox church history and culture in Eastern Europe from 16th to 18th century
  2. Eastern Christianity and national narratives
  3. Orthodox churches under Communism
  4. Orthodox theology on questions of war and peace
  5. Orthodox theology and human rights

Next to my own research and lecturing, I supervise scripts and theses up to the level of PhD projects.  I am open for all projects related to the fields mentioned above, and always be ready for further consultations if needed.

One particular space for research emerges from the still relevant fact that Orthodox-Protestant relations over the centuries are insufficiently researched, with many white spots left. Similar is true for comparative theological studies in this respect.

Against this background, subjects of particular interest and waiting for competent exploration can be such as:

  • Contacts/mutual influences between Protestant theology (since Early Modern times, starting with Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon etc.) in overlapping zones of Eastern Europe (Poland-Lithuania, Transilvania) and on particular points of encounter (diaspora, mutli-cultural cities, universities etc.)
  • Patterns and contexts of confessionalization in the Christian East of Europe
  • Contacts/mutual influences between prominent theologians in the Orthodox diaspora (like French Catholic and Orthodox contacts in Paris after 1925; encounters between German Protestant theology (Barth, Tillich e.a.) and Russian Orthodoxy (Florovsky, Lossky e.a.) in either Germany or the U.S.
  • Orthodox political theology (including a "theology after GULag" as corresponding to a "theology after Auschwitz [Niebuhr, Moltmann, Metz u.a.], see also the corresponding project at VU University/INASeC)
  • Orthodox Theology on War and Peace in comparative perspective (in different steps: after World War I, World War II, the fall of Communism, after the "Maidan" revolution in Ukraine etc.)
  • Theology coming to terms with the Communist past
  • Orthodox theology in reaction to post-modernism/post-secularism
  • Theological anthropology in comparative perspective (with special attention to questions concerning 'human dignity')

Read some guidelines still constitutive for my work.

Needless to say, the list above is neither complete nor exclusive, rather outlining a field where lots of particular projects can be searched and found. Just a matter of searching and finding together ...