In his latest book about Europe (Europe-An Unfinished Adventure (2004), Europa – Ein unvollendetes Abenteuer (2015)) the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Baumann identifies fear, justified or artificially produced, as a driving force in worldwide politics as well as in our societies. He speaks, inter alia, of the fear of terrorist attacks, the fear to loose one´s job, the fear of being excluded, the fear of fighting new threats with old methodologies and old equipment.
But it did not need the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 to make fear become the new paradigm. Baumann sees the Mid-70ies of the last century as a turning point when neoliberal economics became dominant and social-welfare states were dismantled. When the institutions, which supported families, societies as well as the state to cope with fears and insecurities, were sidelined, fear determined increasingly many relationships with others, new enemy pictures were established and fear became a resource in the hands of the economically powerful. Instead of a “war against terror” as a false and dangerous antidote, Baumann advocates for hospital and inclusive societies based on democracy (participation) and justice.
The next Annual Conference in Corrymeela
Fear (“Fear and Remembering in the 21st Century”) is also the main theme of the next Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe in Corrymeela (Northern Ireland), 9-13 September 2015, to which you are cordially invited. The Corrymeela Community and Center has a lot of hands-on experience in non-violent conflict mediation in Northern Ireland as well as in worldwide conflict situations. And it also serves as a renown center for reflecting on those experiences. Through a study day, an excursion, worship life and encounters during the Annual Conference, we want to profit from this experience and expertise at a moment when Corrymeela celebrates its 50th anniversary.
In addition, many crucial items are on the business agenda of the Annual Conference in order to increase the interaction among Oikosnet members and to engage in common projects and initiatives. For the invitation letter and your registration for the Annual Conference click here.
Care – theme for the Gender and Justice Network
“Care”, is the theme for the Gender and Justice Network of Oikosnet Europe, meeting just prior to the Annual Conference in Corrymeela. Care, in the sense of caring for each other, is certainly one of the antidotes providing hospital and inclusive societies. For the invitation letter and registration to the Gender and Justice Network click here.
In order to participate tick the respective box in the online registration for the Annual Conference. The Gender and Justice Network, though looking on issues from a gender perspective, invites women and men alike.
“Dialogue for A Peaceful Change
And finally, making the best use of resources at Corrymeela, Oikosnet Europe and the Corrymeela Center invite together for a DPC-Training in Corrymeela from 5 to 9 September. “DPC” stands for “Dialogue for A Peaceful Change” and is a methodology for non-violent conflict mediation, which was developed by Oikosnet members, including Corrymeela. For the DPC invitation and your registration click here