Bulgaria: VP Iotova Opens International Scientific Conference on Cyril and Methodius’s Legacy in Sofia

Bulgaria never perished as a spiritual nucleus. In its long national history, it managed to preserve its language and identity under three kingdoms, even when it disappeared twice from the map of Europe and for centuries. And Bulgarians managed to win their independence not only with the power of the sword, but also with the power of literacy, Vice President Iliana Iotova said in her address at Monday’s opening in Sofia of an international scientific conference titled ‘Cyrillo-Methodian Legacy in International Scholarship and Cultural Memory’.

The organizers underscored Iotova’s role in the establishment of a national scientific programme for the development and promotion of Bulgarian studies abroad.

Assoc. Prof. Elka Traikova, BAS Scientific Secretary responsible for Cultural and Historical Heritage, and National Identity, also addressed the forum in the name of the academy’s leadership.

The two-day forum, hosted by the Institut francais, is organized by the Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the year marking the 1160th anniversary of the Cyrillic alphabet. Taking part are more than 70 scholars from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Britain, Czechia, India, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the US) representing dozens of universities and research centres around the world. They will present papers cutting across the disciplinary spectrum: history, literature, linguistics, palaeography, epigraphy, cultural anthropology, art studies, etc.

St Constantine Cyril the Philosopher (826/827-869) and St Methodius (c. 815-885) made history when they invented the Slavonic script in AD 855-863 and, together with their disciples, started its dissemination in medieval Europe. Their ministry revolutionized the spread of Christianity, making its teachings accessible to common people in their own vernacular five centuries before the Reformation in Western Europe. The brothers lived just a couple of hundred years before the Great Schism of 1054 between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism but are nevertheless venerated by both the Eastern and the Western Church.

Source: Ghana News Agency