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IPSEC Newsletter
Year 3 No 1 | September 5, 2017

Welcome to
President's Report of Activity

This year, Dr. Marian Gh. Simion’s activity, on behalf of IPSEC, was focused on program development, research, consulting and education.

  • PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: In terms of program development, Dr. Simion redesigned IPSEC field education program at Harvard Divinity School.
  • RESEARCH: His research activity was centered on the role of ritual in violence and religious pilgrimage in the context of Orthodox theology and culture.
  • EDUCATION: Dr. Simion wrote and published an university textbook on qualitative research methodology titled, Research Methodology on Orthodox Peace Studies (in Romanian) at Presa Universitară Clujeană of the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj Napoca.
  • CONSULTATION: As consulting activity, this past May, Dr. Simion joined a group of experts at The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute in Hague, Netherlands, which held its first consultation on the theme, “Practitioner Exchange Trainers of Courses Addressing the Role of Religion & Secularity in Conflict.” He also delivered a speech, as a plenary keynote speaker, during the 8th World Congress of the International Religious Liberty Association, held last month in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

The Future of Knowledge Proceedings
now indexed in IDEAS/RePEc, CEEOL, Econpapers, Google Scholar and SSRN

In an effort to ensure academic transparency, and to disseminate quality academic work in an open access format, the proceedings of the first Harvard Square Symposium are now indexed in IDEAS/RePEc, CEEOL, Econpapers, Google Scholar and SSRN. This first symposium was organized as an international conference under the title “The Future of Knowledge,” on 29-30 April 2016, at the Harvard Faculty Club, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and was a joint event of Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, Inc., (RAIS) the Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity and the Scientific Press. We would like to express our gratitude to our partners from RAIS for their professionalism, hard labor, and financial support. The papers can be downloaded here.

Research Methodology in Orthodox Peace Studies:
university textbook
by Marian Gh. Simion
Metodologia Cercetării în Studiile de Pace Ortodoxe - Manual Universitar, Cluj–Napoca: Presa Universitară Clujeană, 2016 (Foreword Laurențiu Tănase, Editorial Coordination and Introductory by Study Cristian-Sebastian Sonea); 232 pages; ISBN 978–606–37–0104–7 This is a textbook on qualitative research methodology in the field of peace studies in Orthodox Christianity, authored by Marian Gh. Simion, in Romanian language. The textbook is organized around the structure of process, and it focuses on inductions, meaning-making, and verdicts. Inductions involve the standard information imparted by the institutionalized religion, concomitant with relevant faith phenomena. Meaning-making focuses on how inductions are interpreted by groups and individuals in position of power, under conditions of crisis. The verdicts are the byproducts of the refinement of inductions through meaning-making, which generate new cognitive and affective realities. CONTENTS: Preface by Laurenţiu Tănase | Introductory Study by Cristian-Sebastian Sonea; Author's Note; 1 Introduction: Religion and Collective Violence; 2 The Scientific Research of Religious Violence; 3 Factors of Induction; 4 The Context of Meaning (Trans)Formation; 5 Liminality and Communication; 6 Transformation and Interpretation; 7 The Essence and the Structure of Verdicts; 8 The Measurement of Verdicts and Opinion Poll; 9 Conclusions; Index



New Board Chair
Denise E. Burrill, PhD(c) elected Chair of IPSEC Board of Trustees

Denise E. Burrill (Simion) has been elected Chair of IPSEC Board of Trustees. She is a co-founder of IPSEC where she served as Executive Director from IPSEC’s inception. Denise E. Burrill is a PhD candidate at CTS-IARSIC, CORHIS 7400, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, in France, and holds a Masters of Liberal Arts in Management with a Nonprofit Administration concentration from Harvard University. She has taught Business courses at Hellenic College and currently creates and teaches MBA courses on Leadership at Fitchburg State University. She is the Company Project Manager at a Payroll/HRIS company in the Boston area.

New Trustee and Vice-Chair
IPSEC welcomes Dr. Nelu Burcea as a new Trustee and Vice-Chair

IPSEC is pleased to announce the election of Nelu Burcea, PhD, as a new IPSEC Trustee and Vice-Chair of IPSEC Board of Trustees. Dr. Burcea is Deputy Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) in Silver Spring, MD, and IRLA's Representative to the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union. Dr. Burcea is a TV Producer and a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. He holds a PhD in Economics (specializing in Management Business Ethics), a Master’s degree in Management of Business Development, and also a degree in Theology. He completed postgraduate studies in Media and Marketing; in Diplomatic Protocol and Communication; and is a past Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University.

Dr. Marian Gh. Simion
Elected President and CEO of IPSEC

At IPSEC annual meeting, Dr. Marian Gh. Simion has been elected as executive President and Chief Executive Officer of IPSEC. Dr. Simion is the founder of IPSEC and served as Chair/President of the Board of Trustees since its inception. He continues to remain a member-by-right of IPSEC Board of Trustees.

New IPSEC Field Education offerings at Harvard Divinity School

In a continuous effort to respond to the current educational needs, IPSEC has redesigned its field education offerings for field education at Harvard Divinity School. The new offerings are centered on (a) Orthodox Church-State dynamics; (b) Orthodoxy vs race, gender, sexuality, and power distance; (c) nationalism, phyletism, and pan-Orthodoxy in Russia and Eastern Europe; (d) Orthodox Christianity in the Middle East, North Africa, and America; (e) Orthodoxy and Islam on the Silk Road, and; (f) meaning-making, restorative justice and conflict transformation. (click here for details)



The strange link between white supremacists and Orthodox Christianity (RawStory)

How the Vatican is encouraging dialogue between Russia and the West (America)

Orthodox leader calls Moscow and Rome to support persecuted Christians (Crux)

For more news about conflicts affecting Orthodox Christians around the world, click here!


“The power distance we perpetuate is nothing but the result of the dependency of a path we took centuries ago. Our apparent indolence against injustice is nothing but the verdict of our complicated history. In our past, often under the guise of evangelization, the bigger clans, nations and empires had often abused the smaller ones, and molested them into submission. Byzantine emperors became the godfathers of tribal chiefs only to control them better. [. . .] Because of this history, we created our own myths and legends of grandeur. This is why, when we face trouble, we hide in our imagined past. When our reality is polluted by misrepresentations or by reinterpretations of events from our distant past all we care about is the protection of our symbols the protection of our spiritual narratives and the protection of our sacred chronicles.” (fragment from a speech, “Why we don’t rise!” delivered by Marian Gh. Simion at the 8th World Congress for Religious Freedom of the International Religious Liberty Association, on August 22, 2017, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)


PATRON ($5,000)
20% discount for unlimited purchased copies

PLATINUM ($1,000) ($1,000)
50% discount for three copies
10% discount for 10 purchased copies

GOLD ($500)
75% discount for one copy
10% discount for 10 purchased copies

SILVER ($300)
10% discount for 10 purchased copies

The first part reviews ancient Christian writings, rituals, religious laws, and contemporary writings, for the purpose of identifying the core teachings of the Orthodox Church on violence and peace. The second part explores themes such as ‘evil’ and ‘dualism’ for the purpose of comprehending heretical attitudes that emerged during times of war. Political subjects such as Just War and Nationalism are explored for the purpose of identifying instances when members of the Orthodox Church sanctioned defensive violence and bolstered xenophobia. The third part recommends peacemaking methods applicable to Orthodox Christian settings in light of the tripartite dimension of violence against God, self, and another human being.




Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity, Inc.
Harvard Square | P.O. Box 380246 | Cambridge, MA 02238-0246, U.S.A. |

IPSEC Newsletter (ISSN 2473-9146) is the official newsletter of the Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity, Harvard Square | P.O. Box 380246 | Cambridge, MA 02238-0246, U.S.A. | | The purpose of this publication is to disseminate information about our institute’s activity, and to disseminate selected news about conflicts affecting the daily existence of Orthodox Christians around the world, as well as various announcements from similar organizations. Focused on research, consulting and education, IPSEC’s goal is to make a positive contribution to the world peace by focusing on the role of religion in international and interreligious relations. IPSEC is affiliated with Harvard Divinity School as a field education agency; offering educational services to graduate students on the role of Orthodox Christianity in international relations, conflict, and policymaking. We welcome your comments, queries, and suggestions; so please direct all correspondence to Dr. Marian Simion at