We Enter a New Phase of the Faith and Freedom Research Project

    We have successfully concluded the first phase of the international project about the role of faith-based actors in Central and Eastern Europe before and after 1989.
    We Enter a New Phase of the Faith and Freedom Research Project

    Faith and Freedom: Research Initiative is an international research project initiated and organized by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, The University of Notre Dame. The project intends to answer several questions related to the role of faith-based actors, especially the Catholic Church, in fighting for and sustaining economic, political, and religious freedoms before and after 1989 in several countries of the former Eastern bloc. The project questions are:

    What is the role of religious faith in resisting the restrictions on freedoms through communist regimes?

    What is the role of faith in shaping the transition from communism to a free marker system?

    What is the role of faith in developing sustainable entrepreneurship in post-communist countries?

    What is the role of faith in developing a strong civic society in post-communist countries?

    Besides the University of Notre Dame, there are 5 universities from the Central and Eastern Europe that participate on this project: Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Catholic University of Croatia in Zagreb and Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University in Tbilisi.

    During the first phase, our university project team consisted of the faculty and students from the Faculty of Arts and Letters: Jan Banas (the coordinator of the project at our faculty), Terezia Roncakova, Peter Kravcak, Dominika Kunova and Matus Jan Capko. The project team prepared a bibliography (450 items) from the Slovak context relevant for the research topics and it also prepared analytical reviews of the most important literature (20 items), which will be used for the planned course offered for both University of Notre Dame students and students from other participating universities. Finally, the team recorded interviews with 8 eye-witnesses of the events before and after 1989 who have been important political or religious figures in the Slovak society (e.g., Jan Carnogursky, Frantisek Miklosko, Alojz Tkac, Terezia Lenczova or Bohdan Hrobon). During the first phase of the project, the international team realized several online meetings and an online international conference Trauma of Communism. The conference volume from this event is in the final stage of preparation.

    The second phase of the project has started in the fall of 2021 and there are several planned activities awaiting a stronger faculty project team. Except traditional literature reviews and recording additional interviews, the project team members plan to participate at a conference in Lviv about the social justice in February 2022.