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Dr. Marian Simion Speaks Before Romanian Parliament

On October 22, 2014, Dr. Marian Simion gave a speech before the Romanian Parliament during the opening plenary session of the 2nd International Conference on Religious Freedom. His invitation was jointly sponsored by the Romanian Parliament (House of Deputies, Committee for Legal Matters, Discipline and Immunities), together with the Association for Consciousness and Liberty from Bucharest, Romania. Speakers included members of the Romanian Parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development, the State Secretary for Religious Affairs, high level officials from the United Nations and US Congress, religious leaders, and academics.

In light of Romania’s geopolitical location, in his speech, “Resisting Temptations: Religion, Freedom, and Romania’s Future,” Simion urged religious leaders and policymakers to continue their close collaboration in securing a climate where the rights of ethnic and religious minorities will continue to be respected.

During his week-long trip to Romania, Simion offered interviews to several national and regional media outlets, including the national Romanian Orthodox channel, TrinitasTV, where he was a guest on Vasile Bănescu’s talk show, Faith and Culture Today, and spoke about conflict and fragmentation in postmodern society. During the hour-long program, Simion also highlighted the unique role played by Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in educating Orthodox clergy for a globalized world, in which conflict resolution is a crucial component of ministry.

Simion traveled together with Rev. Dudley C. Rose, the Associate Dean of Ministry Studies from Harvard Divinity School, who also spoke before the Romanian Parliament. After the conference, Simion and Rose visited the School of Orthodox Theology of the University of Piteşti, where they spoke about theological education in America. Simion highlighted similarities and differences between the Orthodox theological educational systems of Romania and the United States.

During the final days in Romania, Rose and Simion visited several Orthodox monasteries, Bran Castle in Brașov, as well as Simion’s birthplace in the Carpathians. In Râmnicu Vâlcea, the High School of Fine Arts offered a special symphonic concert in their honor in the presence of representatives from the local government. Toward the end, Simion sang baritone in a duet with soprano Camelia Clavac.

Dr. Marian Simion is Instructor and Administrator of the Religious Studies program at Hellenic College, and Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. In the spring 2015, Dr. Simion will teach Introduction to Orthodox Ethics and Religion and Political Violence at Hellenic College.

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