A three-day international conference, "History and Hagiography of the Undivided Church," has opened in the Russian Academy of Sciences.
According to the Church Scientific Centre of the Moscow Patriarchy "Orthodox Encyclopaedia," which took an active part in organising the forum, the conference is devoted to the peculiarities of the development of Christianity in the East and in the West, to their origin and co-existence at the time of the unity of the Church.
In his message of greetings to the conference participants, Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia noted that today the relations between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church "still remain complicated." "Therefore, your coming work becomes very important, because what you study contains much more prerequisites for unity and mutual understanding." Apart from history, hagiography which studies the life of the saints in the period of the undivided Church, has also attracted the attention of the conference participants. Alexis II expressed hope that the forum would intensify the work on hagiography of the first millennium. At this conference, historians, theologians and art critics from Russia, Germany and a number of other countries will also consider some problems of iconography.