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Minutes of Foundational Meeting

European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR)

INAUGURAL MEETING

2nd MAY 2000

KRAKÓW

The meeting took place in accordance with the ”enabling measure”  included in the draft statutes of the EASR, and was presided over by Michael Pye as president of the IAHR.

Persons present

Participants at the meeting included six members of the preparatory working committee (see Appendix 1) and others present at the IAHR conference being held concurrently in Kraków. Of these, 24 persons registered for immediate membership of the proposed association, as recorded by Tim Jensen (Denmark). The full list of participants is appended below (see Appendix 2).

Introduction by the president of the IAHR

Michael Pye introduced the meeting with a brief account of various earlier steps in the development of  a regional European assocation, referring in particular to meetings held in Bonn, Hildesheim and Luxembourg. Unfortunately the discussions in Hildesheim had not led to wide agreement and the foundation of "Eurassoc" in Luxemburg had led to the criticism that the relations between the three levels of international, regional and national associations had not been adequately conceived. At a conference in Brno (August 1999) a small meeting to plan a resolution of these problems was held between Charle-Marie Ternes (president of "Eurassoc"), Bretislav Horyna, Armin Geertz and Michael Pye and it was agreed that best efforts would be made during the forthcoming conference in Kraków. On 22nd December Armin Geertz (General Secretary of the IAHR) invited participation for this purpose. However, information was later received that there would be no participation by ”Eurassoc”. For this reason a working committee was established via e-mail to prepare a new solution, which was now being presented to the meeting.

He further pointed out the significance of the fact that the six members of the working committee present came from six different European countries, namely Demark (Tim Jensen), Finland (Helena Helve), Italy (Giulia Gasparro), Spain (Montserrat Abumalham) , Germany  (Michael Pye) and Poland  (Halina Grzymala-Moszczynska). Four further persons on the working committee were (Willem Hofstee and Herman Beck (The Netherlands), Kim Knott (United Kingdom) and Francisco Diez de Valesco (Spain). Kim Knott had sent a letter of support based on consultations with the Executive Committee of the BASR and including an offer to host the first conference of a new European Association for the Study of Religions in Cambridge, England, in September 2001. Furthermore Wim Hofstee had agreed to arrange the legal registration of the new association at The Hague in the Netherlands. It was also significant that the meeting was being attended by the general secretary of the IAHR (Armin Geertz) and one of its two vice-presidents (Peter Antes), and in addition by another member of the IAHR Executive Committee as an international observer from Japan (Michio Araki).

Appointment of a member to record the minutes of the meeting

Helena Helve was appointed, by general consent, to record the minutes of the meeting.

Consideration and confirmation of the draft statutes

The draft statutes prepared by the working committee were considered in detail, various minor alterations were made, and the resultant text was put to the vote. The result of the vote, by show of hands, was 23 in favour and 0 against. The full text, as revised at the meeting, is given in Appendix 2 below.

Election of the committee

A committee was then elected in accordance with the ”enabling measure” (Article 10). The votes were cast by secret ballot and were counted by Montserrat Abumalham (Spain) and Armin Geertz (Denmark). Nominations were made for the ten positions to be filled. The positions, nominations and votes received were as follows:

PresidentGiulia Gasparro (Italy)     21
Vice President (two positions): 

Halina Grzymala-Mosczcinska (Poland)
  

21
 Helena Helve (Finland) 16
 Francisco Diez de Velasco (Spain)4
General Secretary  Tim Jensen (Denmark)    21
Deputy  General SecretaryTadeusz Doktór (Poland) 20
TreasurerWillem Hofstee (Netherlands)20
Deputy Treasurer  Halina Grzymala-Mosczcinska  (Poland)0
 Helena Helve (Finland)        6
 Philippe Borgeaud (Switzerland)   15
Membership  Secretary  Tore Ahlbäck (Finland)        2
 Kim Knott (United Kingdom)         19
Publications OfficerGiovanni Casadio (Italy) 21
Internet Officer Francisco Diez de Velasco (Spain)  8
 Michael Pye 12

 

The resultant committee was therefore announced as follows:

President: Giulia Gasparro (Italy)

Vice President: Halina Grzymala-Mosczcinska (Poland)

Vice President: Helena Helve (Finland)

General Secretary: Tim Jensen (Denmark)

Deputy General Secretary: Tadeusz  Doktór (Poland)

Treasurer: Willem Hofstee (The Netherlands)

Deputy Treasurer: Philippe Borgeaud (Switzerland)

Membership Secretary: Kim Knott (United Kingdom)

Publications Officer: Giovanni Casadio (Italy)

Internet Officer: Michael Pye (Germany)

Any other business

i) The proposal was made that the newly founded EASR should immediately apply for affiliation to  the IAHR, in accordance with the statutes. The result of the vote on this measure, by show of hands, was unanimously in favour.

ii) Future conference locations were discussed, and in addition to the proposed venue in Cambridge, the suggestion for a conference in Messina (Italy) was also put forward by the newly elected president, Giulia Gasparro. It was agreed by show of hands that the proposal for a conference in Cambridge should be accepted for September 2001 and that the proposal for a conference in Italy in 2002 should be actively pursued.

iii) Armin Geertz, on behalf of the IAHR, thanked the working committee for completing its task so efficiently, and Tim Jensen (as the newly elected general secretary of the EASR) thanked Michael Pye for all his work in coordinating the drafting of the statutes.

Signed:

May 3rd 2000, Kraków, Helena Helve

Appendix 1: List of the Preparatory Working Committee Members

Montserrat Abumalham
Herman Beck
Francisco Diez de Velasco
Giulia Gasparro
Halina Gzrymala-Moszczynska
Helena Helve
Willem Hofstee
Tim Jensen
Kim Knott
Michael Pye

Appendix 2:  The Constitution of the European Association for the Study of Religions (see Constitution)