2nd International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care “The Living Water”

25 January 2018

Athens Greece, 24 January 2018


2nd International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care

The Living Water”



Orthodox Academy of Crete, Kolymbari

18-21 June 2018


2018 Conference Theme:

The Digital World as a Sphere for the Reiteration of Pentecost and the

“living word” of Saint Paul the Apostle


In May 2015, in Athens, Pemptousia (www.pemptousia.gr) in conjunction with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) in America and Bogoslov in Russia, hosted the 1st International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care “DMOPC15” (www.dmopc15.com). 75 Orthodox speakers from 21 countries all over the world ‘gathered together in that place’. The aim was for them to express their concerns, their witness and their thoughts regarding a dimension of human life which now involves almost everyone: The Digital Ecosystem and the Digital Media which shape it. Specialist academics and everyday laborers working discreetly on behalf of the Divine Word in the digital field highlighted very important issues, such as:

  • The negative aspects of the use of digital media, the dangers threatening the human person and the relationship between believers and God and with the Church.
  • The missionary challenge and the shaping of a genuine Christian consciousness through digital media.
  • Orthodox monasticism and the ascetic tradition in relation to digital media.
  • The need for proper preparation, spiritual provision and pastoral responsibility.
  • The rapid ‘digitization’ of life on all levels and the new anthropology which this has created.

For Orthodox Christians all over the world, every matter in life, great or small, is always to be considered in the light of the Cross and the Resurrection. In this light, which guides our life and the theology of the Orthodox Church, the 75 speakers at the first Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care, laid the foundations for an Orthodox consideration of the Christian life within the Digital Ecosystem.

This is not the first time that the Church has had to meet the challenge of using a universal language to spread the word of the Gospel. The Apostle of the Gentiles, Saint Paul, adopted the language, outlook, symbols and opportunities of Greco-Roman culture in order to make the Gospel truth, the person of Christ, accessible and familiar to the whole of the known world as it then was. This was not a painless process, without negative reactions and turbulence. But the change in history was achieved and it was established once and for all that the Word of the Gospel ‘is not bound’. It may, indeed, be that it is incumbent upon the Church to use the language of each generation, since its language is the ‘Living Water’.

Bearing in mind the positive response to the resonance of the 1st Conference on the part of all those in the sphere of the Orthodox Church who are  involved in Pastoral Care in the Digital Media and, in the belief that the time is now ripe for the next step in the construction of a genuine Christian discourse regarding the challenge we face today, we are planning to host the 2nd International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care, DMOPC18- The Living Water, from 18 to 21 June at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, in Kolymbari.

Pemptousia will again be the organizers of this Conference, with the generous cooperation of international web sites such as Οrthodox Christian Network – OCN www.myocn.net and Ancient Faith Radio www.ancientfaithradio.com from America, Zvornik-Tuzla www.eparhijazt.com from Bosnia, Mitropolija Zagrebacka www.mitropolija-zagrebacka.org from Croatia, Orthodoxie www.orthodoxie.com from France,Basilica www.basilica.ro and Doxologia www.doxologia.ro from Romania, Bogoslov www.bogoslov.ru and Pravmir www.pravmir.ru from Russia, Orthodox heritage of Ukraine on Mount Athos athos-ukraine.com from Ukraine  and others to be announced.

The aim of the second conference will be to actively continue what we began in May 2015. Then, the foundations were laid and now we have to build the structure. We need to investigate more deeply the answers to the burning questions which remain and are growing. Tangible, applicable pastoral proposals have to be formulated. These suggestions must take into account the digital way of being and acting, in the light of Orthodox Anthropology, Christian Ethics and the Life of the Church. So where the 1st Conference, in 2015, highlighted the burning questions, the 2nd will focus on the creation of a solid theological discourse, will give priority to the testimony of experienced servants of the Gospel Word within Digital Media and will aim to formulate clear pastoral and technical guidelines for their implementation.

The challenge is great, developments and time are pressing and pastoral needs are imperative. We are firmly and profoundly convinced, however, that the Good Comforter, Whose grace brought us together at the first Conference, will bless and guide the progress and the aims of the next one.

Open Invitation to Participate in the Conference

(Call for Papers)

Interested parties who wish to contribute an academic paper at the 2nd International Conference on ‘Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care’, which will be held from 18 to 21 June 2018 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, Kolymbari, should submit a summary of the paper in Greek or English or Russian to the following electronic address: [email protected]

The summary should not exceed 1000 words and it is important that it be accompanied by key words and a CV of the speaker.

Final date for the submission of summaries and CVs is 28 February 2018.

An International Academic Committee will assess the submitted summaries and will decide which will be presented at the Conference.

The organizers will fully cover the costs (fares, accommodation, meals) of all the speakers who participate in the Conference.

The working languages are Greek, English and Russian. Papers presentations should last no more than 15 minutes. Time will be allotted for a 5 minute discussion after each paper has been delivered.

Information regarding the acceptance of papers and the participation of the selected speakers at the Conference will be sent by 30 March 2018.

The International Academic Committee consists of:


Protopresbyter Christopher Metropoulos, President of the Hellenic College and the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (chairman of the Academic Committee of the DMOPC18 Conference)- America

Metropolitan Porfirije (Perić) of Zagrab and Ljubljana, head of the web-site www.mitropolija-zagrebacka.org, Croatia

Georgios Mantzaridis, Professor Emeritus of the School of Theology, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Protopresbyter Vasileios Kalliakmanis, Professor of the School of Theology, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Protopresbyter Constantin Coman, Professor of the School of Theology, University of Bucharest, Romania

Protopresbyter Jivko Panev, Professor of the Saint-Serge Institute of Orthodox Theology and head of the French web site www.orthodoxie.com, France

Protopresbyter Nicolae Dascălu, Coordination Adviser at the Department of Communication and Public Relations of the Patriarchate of Romania and General Director of the Basilica Press Centre in Bucharest, Romania

Fr. Bassam Nassif, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marital Counseling at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, University of Balamand and the Faculty of Humanities, Notre Dame University, Louaizé, Lebanon

Rev. Dr. Demetrios Harper, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Winchester, UK

Dr. Elena Zhosul, Dean of the Media and Public Relations Department of the Russian Orthodox University (Moscow), advisor of the Chairman of the Synodal Information Department of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Prof. Nikolaos Koios, University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr. Jaroslaw Charkiewicz, Secretary of the Publishing Department of Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Co-founder of www.cerkiew.pl and www.orthphoto.net



  1. Christian Ethics and Orthodox Anthropology in the Face of the Challenges of the Digital Ecosystem 
  • The dialectic between Christian anthropology and the human person in the digital age
  • The niptic tradition and digital living: Patristic positions on the functions of the intellect and the soul, in the face of the digital challenge
  • The Patristic concept of fantasy and the digital world
  • The dialectic between theology and digital iconicity
  • Is there a locus and means for an ascetic life with digital media? Can monastic stillness (hesychasm) be combined with the digital life?
  • Christian Ethics as an ethos of communication: the digital world as a sphere for the reiteration of Pentecost and the “living word” of Saint Paul the Apostle
  • Considering the digital world from the point of view of Media Ethics and the discourse of Christian Ethics
  • Personal ethos in the digital ecosystem in the light of the Personal Ethics of Orthodox Tradition
  • Digital ‘sharing’ and the Christian virtues of common use and common possession.
  • What it means to share from the point of view of Christianity and how to apply it consciously in the logic of the network
  • The notion of the ‘neighbor’ through the dimension of proximity in the digital ecosystem. “Who is my neighbor on the net?” And “how to become a neighbor?”(Cultivating and understanding the right dimension of proximity with the dynamics of the Net.)

Digital Media: Opportunities and Problems

  • General strategy for the use of digital media by the Church, especially social networks. What kind of steps should be taken? What should be borne in mind? Which aspects should not be countenanced?
  • The wellknown fact that social networks and digital media generally not always “forgive” ignorance and light-mindedness should increase our awareness on our behavior to avoid the risks of the Net.
  • Strategy for the creation of content. How do the subjects ‘germinate’? How should they be formulated in various ways? How to publish them? Where to publish them?
  • Consideration of the structures and repercussions of the language of social networks:
  • The language of the media (the language of persuasion “to put in”, the language of the imaginary “to move out”…)
  • How to make good communication (Clarity, terseness, concreteness).
  • From Top-Down Communication to contextual communication.
  • The importance of storytelling.
  • Neologisms and social networks: the need to name new behaviors gives rise to neologisms, new words or new meanings of already existing words. Social networks have changed our habits and the language with which we express ourselves.
  • Data and person in cyberspace: here we talk about the value of information in the connected society, in the data itself and in the way in which they are used. This theme has economic, social and human impact on the importance of digital identity. (This is about privacy, the hidden continent, and “social engineering” that manipulates the user’s perception.
  • Qualitative and quantitative opportunities in the digital ecosystem which drastically differentiate the past from the present.
  • Digital and natural life- digital anthropology.
  • Hidden content and ‘social engineering’ by the manipulation of the perception of the user and expression by real examples.
  • The cyberbullying, or rather the uncontrolled use of social media to vent violence and malice against people, is now an uncontrollable phenomenon with which we have to deal.

 3. Expression, recording, evaluation and proposals from the experience of service of the Divine Word in digital media 

  • Description and evaluation of the presence of priests in digital media, their witness, the balance between maintaining a high profile and the concept of common use, effective communication with young people in the digital domain, the opportunity to offer an indirect role to these same young people with reference to social communication in church and the systematic organization of ‘digital catechism’.
  • The presence of the Church in digital media, not only as an instrument for providing content, but also as a locus of common use and expression.
  • Why should the Church be involved with social media? The manner in which the presence of the Orthodox Church is expressed in social networks. Is there an effective presence on the part of the Church, or do social networks continue to be thought of as simply a means of distracting individuals from reality and encouraging them towards indiscriminate use?
  • Definition of the AIMS, NEEDS, CONCERNS and OPPOSITION of people at whom the presence of ecclesiastical discourse in social media is aimed.
  • The institution of spiritual paternity and its ability to function in a digital setting. Expression of pastoral practice and experience thus far.
  • The way in which a metropolis or parish expresses and organizes itself on social networks. Practical advice and instructions for the creation of a Facebook page: graphic care, conversation management, listening to criticism and adding value, monitoring communication.
  • The spiritual presence of priests on the web (their testimony, the balance between keeping the high profile and the concept of sharing … etc).
  • Live video streaming in Facebook as real mediated communication.
  • The problem of Church being on the Internet not only as a simple “broadcaster of content”, but also sharing. Not using the social network form with the 1.0 strategy).
  • How can theology become more ‘attractive’ through the use of digital media?
  • How can those who serve the divine word in digital media be protected from the spiritual dangers of the digital ecosystem?
  • The encounter between niptic anthropology, pastoral psychology and the psycho-sciences, with digital living as the common denominator. From spiritual and psychological problems to the search for pastoral and therapeutic proposals.
  • Do we listen to everyone? How can we ensure the validity of digital pastoral content?
  • Towards an Orthodox Code of Conduct for the running of Digital Media: Can life in the digital ecosystem be the object of Canon and Ecclesiastical Law?
  • Orthodox Mission at the dawn of the digital era.
  • ‘So that all may be one’: the need for Orthodox Ecclesiology to become more relevant in the digital era.
  • Liturgical Life in digital media


4. The reception of Christian Discourse by Digital Generations 

  • The reception of the digital era by pedagogical science on the basis of the life in Christ.
  • Orthodox Digital Literacy: How can we educate the new Orthodox generations? Identity and the building of the self in new relationships, the pain of the conflict between existing and the need to be, the development of identity between dependence and autonomy.
  • The moving picture, the documentary and the cinema in the digital ecosystem: new opportunities for the reception of Christian discourse by digital generations.
  • The achievements of Orthodox culture in the digital ecosystem. Pictorial art, Church music, literature and so on.
  • The use of digital technology (smartphones, smart tvs, tablets and so on) as a place and means of bringing together Christian discourse and the younger generations.
  • Υoung people 2.0 (generation 2.0) and their identity, on the construction of the self in new relationships.
  • The identity: the suffering of the conflict between being and having to be
  • The development of the identity between dependence and autonomy
  • Digital media as a meeting-place for Orthodox youth from all over the world.


Nikos Gouraros

Head of DMOPC18 Organizing Committee


President of St Maxim the Greek Institute

Executive Director of Pemptousia




[email protected] or [email protected]