International Research Conference on Christian Studies 2018


The Conference aims to provide a platform to document with scientific and methodical researches the efforts of Christians in local contexts to create a new culture based on human values and to propose in an effective way how they could still fulfill their human and social responsibilities of creating a new humanistic ethos amidst the present world beset by the perennial problems, among others poverty, injustice, corruption, the evil effects of globalization and pervasive environmental challenges. Contributing to a new humanistic ethos is seen here an articulation of the social responsibility of Christians. The Conference will raise awareness among those who belong to other religions to speak out and work for a better society based on shared human values. The Conference will also seek ways in which Christians and the followers of other religions can work together to address issues of social responsibility that they have in common to create a new humanistic ethos.


Basing on the aim of the Research Conference “Towards a New Christian Humanistic Ethos”, the following objectives are projected to be achieved:

  • to revisit the history of Christianity in local contexts and purview its influence and contribution to create a new human culture and documenting them as well structured scientific research papers.
  • to assess the contribution of Christians to safeguarding the values of local cultures, art, architecture and literature from destruction by the colonial powers and by postmodern trend of globalization.
  • to defend the value and dignity of each individual human being as a child of God thereby contributing to a new human culture void of any discrimination.
  • to appraise the theological contributing of modern Christianity which has formulated rich conceptual foundations to address the issues of gender, cast, political oppression and violation of human rights and to defend the liberty, equality and dignity of the women, children, differently-abled, oppressed and marginalized.
  • to elaborate the contribution of recent Christian Theology of Religions based on the documents of Second Vatican Council and to rediscover and affirm in a new way the concept of pluralism, inter-religious living, dialogue and collaboration.
  • to facilitate researchers, scholars, resource persons and practitioners to come on a platform and to share their findings about the new trends in Christian thought.

Important Dates:

  1. Abstract Submission Deadline: 20 September 2018 Extended to 25 September 2018
  2. Abstract Acceptance Notification: 30 September 2018
  3. Full Paper Deadline: 31 October 2018
  4. Acceptance Notification: 10 November 2018
  5. Early Bird Registration Deadline: 15 November 2018
  6. Participant Registration Deadline: 30 November 2018
  7. Inauguration of the Conference: 07 December 2018

Concept Note

“Towards a New Christian Humanistic Ethos” is the theme for the first International Research Conference on ‘Christian Studies’ at the University of Jaffna organized by the Department of Christian Civilization in collaboration with the Centre for Performing Arts. The theme is a ‘humanist manifesto’ which is a need of the time for us and the wide world which is inundated with inhuman trends.

The role played by Christianity to create a new humanistic ethos cannot be neglected. The world history bears witness to the fact that wherever Christianity stretched it roots, it toiled hard to eliminate the social evils of slavery, discrimination, superstitions and other inhuman practices and has ventured in creating a new human culture through its education and social commitments. Its contribution to bring out a decisive notion of the new humanism opened up new frontiers to the dignity of human race with its values and originality.

In this milieu, this Research Conference focuses on the contributions of Christians in order to assert once more the need to construct the contemporary societies on human values. In the midst of individualist, consumerist and pragmatist trends of the present globalized world, such affirmation is vital in order to safeguard the value and dignity of each individual and to initiate a better society.

Christianity proclaimed its humanistic ethos based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; however, the declaration of the new humanism is beyond any religious character or motives. It is universal and it is applicable to everybody without any differences of religious, ethnic or nationality.

Revisiting the roots of the humanistic ethos promoted by Christianity is a need of the time because the degradation of human values has greatly affected human life and society.

The theme also ventures further into other areas of human concerns. The deviation from the human values has affected the natural and environmental patterns and the whole human life situations. It has affected the family life, social life, cultural values, gender perspectives, religious convictions and educational systems; above all the whole pattern of human history has been affected.

Encouraging researches on the above theme is an academic exercise where awareness will be created in the intellectual level on the need of a new humanism for the contemporary world. An academic can stimulate intellectually the practical life of human society. The research papers on the above topic will serve as documentations of the efforts of Christians to contribute to a new human culture and at the same time would bring out the ideas, opinions and valuable thoughts to step forward in an effective way to fulfill its social responsibility of creating a new humanism amidst the present world order with full of conflicts, violence, injustice, discrimination, anti-life concepts and practices, individualism, evil effects of globalization and pervasive environmental challenges.


About the organizer – Department of Christian Civilization

2019, the year ahead of us is a landmark year for the department of Christian Civilization as it remembers its 40th year as a unit an

d 30th year as a department in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Jaffna.

Almost 40 years ago, in 1979, teaching of the discipline ‘

Christian Civilization’ was started as a unit in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Jaffna. In 1981 when the Department of Language and Culture was started, the ‘Christian Civilization’ unit along with Arabic and Islamic Civilizations became part of it.

Almost 30 years ago, in 1989, the Department of Languages and Culture was divided into 2 departments, namely, Department of Linguistics and English and Department of Christian and Islamic Civilizations. From thence, students have the opportunity to offer Christian Civilization for General and Special Degree of Bachelor of Arts. The department offers now the opportunity for post-graduate researches leading to M. Phil. and Ph.D. in Christian Civilization.

About the Collaborator: Centre for Performing Arts

Founded in Jaffna in 1965, the Centre for Performing Arts (known as திருமறைக் கலாமன்றம் and Ranga Kala Kendraya) is Sri Lanka’s longest standing organization using arts for peace building. It has branches abroad too. It has partnerships with various international organizations and a special relationship with York University, Toronto, Canada.

CPA’s academic unit is கலைத்தூது College of Aesthetics which conducts classes in performing and visual arts. It is affiliated to கலைக் காவிரி College of Fine Arts, Trichi, South India and has been conducting classes in gujehl;bak; for graduate and postgraduate students enabling them to obtain degrees from Bharathithasan University, Trichi, South India. At the moment, it is conducting practical classes in sculpture under the supervision of Prof. Sarath Chandrajeeva, the newly elected Vice-Chancellor of the Visual and Performing Arts University, Colombo.

CPA besides sponsoring the keynote speaker for the Conference is providing a cultural programme and academically contributing by refereeing papers on the relevant field.

“Towards a News Christian Humanistic Ethos”


Organizing Committee:

Rev. Dr. J.C. Paul Rohan (Head / Dept. Christian Civilization, UoJ)

Rev. Dr. N.M. Saveri (Director / Centre for Performing Arts)

Dr. C.C.A. Sivapalan (Head / Dept. of Linguistics and English Literature, UoJ)

Mrs. M.W. Surendraraj (Lecturer (Prob.) / Dept. of Christian Civilization, UoJ)

Advisory Committee:

Prof. Shirley Lal Wijesinghe (Dept. of Western Classical Culture & Christian Culture, UoK)

Rev. Dr. S.J. Emmanuel (Emeritus Professor / University of Westmünster, Germany)

Rev. Dr. A.F. Jayasegaram (Director / Neithalam Centre)

Rev. Fr. M.V.E. Ravichandran (Director / St. Joesph Vaz Tamil Theologate)

Rev. M. Jude Sutharshan (Principal / Christian Theological Seminary, Maruthanar Madam, Chunnakam, Sri Lanka)

IT Support:

Dr. E.Y.A. Charles (Dept. of Computer Science, UoJ)


Mrs. M.W. Surendraraj (Lecturer (Prob.) / Dept. of Christian Civilization, UoJ)