Centre for Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Texts

The Centre is concerned with the important works of European Christian culture with the goal of making them available to the Czech public and to prepare editions of as-yet unpublished Latin manuscripts which are connected to the Czech lands. It was founded in 2000 as an interdisciplinary team of Classical Latin and Medieval Latin philologists, philosophers, theologians and historians.

The Centre’s activities can be divided into three main areas:

1. Editions of Latin texts referring to Bohemia: bilingual editions of unpublished Latin manuscripts connected to the Czech lands, accompanied by Czech and foreign language introductions, Czech translations and explanatory notes.

2. Translations with commentary: bilingual publications of important patristic, medieval and Renaissance tests, accompanied by introductions and explanatory notes.

3. Expert studies on both types of texts.

Recent publications: Czech translation with commentary of the eight books of Stromata by Clement of Alexandria (2004–2013), the two-volume anthology Stories of Early Christian Martyrs (Příběhy raně křesťanských mučedníků, 2009, 2011), an annotated anthology of Greek Mathematical Texts (Řecké matematické texty, 2011), a Czech translation of the twenty-volume medieval encyclopaedia of Isidore of Seville entitled Etymologies (Etymologie; editions of the majority of volumes, 2001–2010) and proceedings from the international colloquia organized by the Centre, e.g. Nomina Divina: Colloquium Dionysiacum Pragense (2011) or The Seventh Book of the Stromateis: Proceedings of the Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2012).

Since 2012 the main research work of the Centre has been its share in the project History and Interpretation of the Bible, a joint project of Protestant Theological Faculty, Charles University in Prague (with participation of Catholic Theological Faculty and Faculty of Arts), the Institute for Classical Studies, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacký University in Olomouc. The aim of this multi-disciplinary project is to contri­bute to an elucidation of the processes in which biblical texts, which themselves were created under the influences of historical occurrences, became a significant shaping influence in the creation of new cultural traditions. The project focuses on three perspectives: emergence, transmission and interpretation of biblical texts. Researchers from diverse fields will analyse the given themes related to biblical texts, their contexts and their effects in time periods from the Late Bronze Age to the present. The project will contribute to an understanding of the historical contexts of biblical texts, within the project there will be prepared editions of databases of primary historical sources on the international level, and this will bring into the Czech-speaking environment additional basic reference tools for understanding and interpreting the Bible (editions, commentaries, thematic studies).

Olomouc University Social Health Institute (OUSHI)

The background of the project Social Determinants of Health among social and health disadvantaged groups of population led to the founding of the Social Health Institute at Palacky University Olomouc, which was established to provide general support for research and education in the area of social aspects of health. OUSHI focuses on research of social determinants of health, health psychology, epidemiology and public health. The purpose of OUSHI is carrying out national and international research which mainly focuses on the social and psychological determinants of the health of individual and groups. Another purpose is educating students and young scientists, providing supervising activities, training supervisors, as well as providing counselling services for academics, students and other people in the areas of health psychology and phenomenology of health.

Department of Christian Social Work

The main priority of the institute is the development of human potential in the area of research and innovation, primarily through the means of expert preparation of research workers and cooperation within networks between universities, research centres, etc.

Workers at the department are engaged in diverse areas which together are projected into work and research related to social work in the domestic context of social services as well as in the international context of humanitarian aid. The mutual focus is aimed at social work in living conditions of families, communities and provision of social services, in the international context in humanitarian aid, community development, migration and refugees. An integral component of the research and teaching programme of the department is reflected in charity work, especially that of the Catholic Church. Prof. H. Pompey, the first head of the department, was awarded a papal commendation, proof of the department’s contribution to the international development of charity work.

Current projects (2013) cover the themes of work over the course of a client’s life, the potential of the team’s reflections, and the question of reconciliation in the context of crisis aid, economic migration together with ethics in humanitarian intervention. Moreover, the department is a partner of the international project European Universities on Professionalisation on Humanitarian Action.

Department of Biblical Studies

In addition to general studies related to the Bible, biblical scholars at the Department of Biblical Studies are working on special themes which are connected to the texts of the Old and New Testaments. In recent years these studies have been mostly on the theme of the covenant between God and Man. The result of their teamwork was a series of specialist monographs: The Dynamics of the Covenant in the Deuteronomistic History (Dynamika smlouvy v deuteronomistickém zpracování dějin, 2008), The Lord's Servant and the New Covenant (Hospodinův služebník a nová smlouva, 2009), Christ and the Participation of Jews and Pagans in the “Covenants” of God's Promise (Kristus a účast židů i pohanů na „smlouvách“ Božího zaslíbení, 2009), Trust in Man and Trust in the Lord (Důvěřovat v člověka a důvěřovat v Hospodina [Jer 17, 5–13], 2010).

At the same time, classical philologists, who also work in the department, took part in the activities of the Centre for Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Texts.

The longstanding department head, Prof. L. Tichý, played a role in the Czech translation of the Jerusalem Bible (2010). The professional activities of the department have been repeatedly supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic; in recent years they have been awarded grants for Renewal of the Covenant and the New Covenant—Study and Interpretation of the Key Biblical Texts under the Canonical Approach and Law and Freedom: Research on Key Themes of Biblical Theology.

Since 2012, department members have been taking part in the project History and Interpretation of the Bible—the main theme of their interest is the preparation of the first Czech translation of selected books of the Septuagint and commentaries on several books of the Old and New Testaments.

Department of Church History and Church Law

The professional activities of the section od church history and history of cristian art have been extended primarily in the long-term research orientation of professors and assistant professors who gradually specialise in individual aspects of the history of Catholic Church and Christianity, especially in Moravia. The long-term interest in Church history by Prof. F.X. Halas, together with his diplomatic work (he was the Czech ambassador to the Holy See in Rome), was realised in his monograph The Phenomenon Vatican (Fenomén Vatikán, 2004), which received extraordinary interest by both scholars and the lay public. He also played a significant role in the translation and preparation of the publication of the Jerusalem Bible.

Prof. M. Pojsl’s long-term research interest included the Great Moravian tradition and the cult of Sts Cyril and Methodius in the historical and cultural connotations in the Middle Ages and the Modern Age (the relationship to the Cistercian Velehrad monastery and his Church), the Cistercian order and its building projects in Moravia. At the same time he has focussed on the impact of the development of Christian sacred architecture from the perspectives of architecture and liturgy.

In the broader study programme of the history of the Olomouc bishopric and archbishopric, assistant professors are studying the themes of confessionalisation, re-Catholicisation, and especially the personality of the Olomouc bishop Francis Cardinal Dietrichstein (T.Parma), as well as the history of the Olomouc institution in the Middle Ages (V. Hlinka) and in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly the personality and episcopate of Theodor Kohn (J. Jonová).

The section is also focussed on the history of Christian art and the preservation of ecclesiastical monuments.

Department of Pastoral and Spiritual Theology

The department offers subjects in the areas of Spiritual Theology, Eastern Orthodox Christian Theology, Eastern Orthodox Christian Liturgy, Ecumenical Theology, Old Church Slavonic, and specialised seminars on Ecumenical Theology: Theology of Icons and Modern Russian Religious Thinking. Since the end of the 1990s, work at the department has been focussing on systematic research, out of which the growing doctoral studies programme has dealt with Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Pastoral and Spiritual Theology, with the goal of establishing its own theological school, one reaching beyond the Olomouc region. The worksite created has as its pillar, the uniquely specialised Centrum Aletti library (with more than 90,000 volumes), and has attracted several dozen doctoral students from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Ukraine, and renowned lecturers from all over Europe. One of the most important moments in the department’s work was the international congress on the occasion of the centenary of the First Velehrad Congress (1907–2007) at Velehrad in 2007.

In 2008, a three-year grant of the Czech Science Foundation was successfully completed by the department with the title Continuity and Discontinuity of Eastern Orthodox Christian Traditions. At the same time, the department also received a grant from the Egyptian government, making possible the study of the relationship between Christianity and Islam.

The department’s research potential is based on rich international cooperation with many church and academic institutions in Western and Eastern Europe, among them pontifical universities in Rome—the Pontifical Oriental Institute with its connections to the Centro E. Aletti, the Pontifical Gregorian University, as well as Heythrop College-University of London, the Karl Rahner Archive, the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology, and the Institute of Coptic Studies in Cairo.

Social Determinants of Health Among Social and Health Disadvantaged Groups of Population

Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness (OP EC) project no. CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0063

The aim of the project is to create new scientific team led by two foreign experts. Then it is to provide the team with a personnel, technical and material support, to enhance professional quality of the team (further education of researchers, implementation of scientific results into practise), to participate in international networks and projects and organize an exchange of information and experience among research institutions. So that there is constantly supported mobility among research institutions.

Another aim of the project is to focus on social determinants of health among social and health disadvantaged groups of population and on their psychological and social aspects.

The target groups are academic staff and university students, PhD. students. Within the project are organized motivational seminars, workshops and other seminars led by foreign experts for academic staff and students.

Special attention is given to young researchers, their participation in scientific work, theory, methodology, implementation and presentation of research results and moreover to get university students involved in research, develop their skills in the area of research, academic communication, making the results available to the general public and publishing and presenting the results of the research and implementing the research into practise.

The research team collaborate on the HBSC (Health Behaviour in School-aged Children) international studies.