- Study of religions in Ukraine by 2023
In five years, the Ukrainian religious studies community should become an integral part of the European religious studies: we will regularly communicate with colleagues at international events and hold such events in Ukraine; we will publish articles in international editions and bring our publications to an appropriate level. Ukrainian scholars will be more critical in religious studies, in particular in the case of the threat of merging religion with politics, or the state’s ban of new religions. The study of religion will be interdisciplinary: anthropologists, orientalists, and academic theologians will participate in religious studies. Scholars will be leaders in their field because of their competence and objectivity. Critical religious expertise will exist both in media and in the judiciary and lawmaking. At the same time, the challenges of populism and confessional religious studies maybe even more serious than they are today. In general, the interest in religious studies as an academic discipline is likely to decrease, we may face a staff crisis due to the lack of educational centers for the study of religions.
2. Our mission
Our organization will focus on several subjects:
- The academic study of religions. We will publish articles and books, our journals will receive international recognition and enter databases, authors will receive royalties, and readers – pleasure. We will hold regular methodological seminars with other specialists (theologians, anthropologists, sociologists, etc.) who also study religions in order to maintain interdisciplinarity and deepen our own competence.
- Promotion of religious studies. We will change the image of religious studies so that we and other people would be interested in studying it. We conduct only important and powerful events, we do not spend time on formalities. We create online courses in religious studies, develop non-traditional forms of teaching religious studies, at the same time we do not reduce the level of expertise and product quality.
- Prosperity and publicity of WASR. Our efforts are aimed at becoming a more visible and respected organization. We combine individual and institutional visibility. We are gradually moving away from the logic of loss and sacrifice – the organization should make benefits for its members: engagement in relevant academic and scholar activities, opportunities to participate in the best events, strengthening their academic and public influence. At the same time, we must avoid “earning” on science and expertise.
- Collaboration with Western colleagues. We hold narrow thematic events with the participation of world top experts, but we also undertake the organization of international events such as EASR conferences. We are looking for travel grants for our members to participate in conferences abroad. We should collaborate with Western foundations to make our projects sustainable.
- Youth work. Our organization emerged as a youth organization, and the support of youth scholarship remains one of the most important areas of our activities. We are looking for young talented researchers who share our interests and values – we invite them to join the organization, to participate in our projects. However, now we do not place special emphasis on the fact that the organization should consist mainly of young people. Our youth activities are associated with the target audience and the desire to ensure the sustainability of academic religious studies.
3. Our values
- Academic approach, objectivity, critical analysis.
- Tolerance for all denominations.
- Academic integrity.
- Interdisciplinarity, collaboration with colleagues.
- Gender equality, inclusivity.
- Free dissemination of objective knowledge on religions, cultures.
- Corporative solidarity, mutual support.
- Upholding freedom of conscience, protecting the rights of believers and non-believers.
- Civil activity, responsibility, participation in rule-making.
- Prosperity, publicity.