Pope Francis Speaks at the Heart of Europe
«One of the most celebrated frescoes of Raphael is found in the Vatican and depicts the so-called “School of Athens”. Plato and Aristotle are in the centre. Plato’s finger is pointed upward, to the world of ideas, to the sky, to heaven as we might say. Aristotle holds his hand out before him, towards the viewer, towards the world, concrete reality. This strikes me as a very apt image of Europe and her history, made up of the constant interplay between heaven and earth, where the sky suggests that openness to the transcendent – to God – which has always distinguished the peoples of Europe, while the earth represents Europe’s practical and concrete ability to confront situations and problems.» For the Highlights of COMIUCAP in the Address of Pope Francis to the European Parliament, please, click here.
Later on the same day, in his no less important Address to the Council of Europe, Pope Francis asked Europe: «Where is your vigour? Where is that idealism which inspired and ennobled your history? Where is your spirit of curiosity and enterprise? Where is your thirst for truth, a thirst which hitherto you have passionately shared with the world?»
Philosophy & Human Formation (Madrid, Dec. 2014)
The next Congress and General Assembly of COMIUCAP-Europe will take place at Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid, Spain) from December 17-19, 2014. The general topic of the Congress is: Philosophy and the Future of Human Formation in Europe. Keynote Speakers: Emmanuel Falque (Mécanique et mystique: Un cadre au salut); Carla Canulo (Identités traduites: Philosophie et Religions pour un nouveau Espace Européen); Markus Enders (Zur Relevanz der philosophischen Bildungs-Lehren von Romano Guardini und Gustav Siewerth für die Zukunft der menschlichen Bildung in Europe); Miguel García-Baró (Fenomenología radical y Ética). Any person seriously interested in the topics of this Congress is welcome to attend but Registration is mandatory for all participants. For a List of Hotels in the vicinity of the Universid Pontificia Comillas, please, click here. For any other serious enquiry, please, feel free to contact us.
Church Renewal in a Secular Age (Rome, March 2015)
An International Conference on Renewing the Church in a Secular Age: Holistic Dialogue and Kenotic Vision will take place at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome March 4-5, 2015. As such, the event results from an initiative of the Research Council for Values and Philosophy (RVP) that began with an open dialogue in 2009 between Cardinal Frances George of Chicago and Professor Charles Taylor, author of A Secular Age. Professor Taylor extended the project by addressing four specific disjunctions of Church and People relating to (a) seekers who have left ecclesial practice in search of the Spirit, (b) the magisterium charged with pastoral responsibilities; and (c) contemporary moral guidance, (d) in a world of plural spiritualities. In its present stage, the project is mainly trying to articulate four emerging conjunctions of the Church as (a) not only listening to the experience of the laity (b) but discerning the path ahead, and hence (c) welcoming the seekers and (d) serving their broad religious needs in a context marked by plural spiritualities.
The Conference is open to all with a genuine interest in the topic and professionally committed to the entire Program. No fee will be charged, but participants must Apply/Register. The deadline for Registration is January 30, 2015 but interested persons are strongly advised to Apply/Register as soon as possible. Here a List of Hotels in the vicinity of the Pontifical Gregorian University and a useful link as well.
Civil Society and Education (Melbourne, July 2015)
«Education is often criticized as being too narrowly focused on skills, capacities and the transference of knowledge that can be used in the workplace. As a result of the dominance of economic rationalism and neo-liberalism, it has become commoditized and marketed to potential customers. As a consequence, students have become consumers of an educational product and education has become an industry. As Heidegger hypothesized, this has seen a shift in the organization of educational institutions so that they are now organized along the lines of an industrial corporation. In its extreme form, this leads to an organization in which a managerial elite controls the means of production of educational products, develops new products according what to marketing modelling suggests consumers want to buy and discards those that are failing to sell.» Aware that educational matters are always complex and, thus, must be seen from different perspectives, COMIUCAP is co-organizing with the Australian Catholic University (ACU, Melbourne) an International Conference on Civil Society and Human Formation: Philosophy's Role in a Renewed Understanding of the Meaning of Education (Melbourne, 20-22 of July, 2015). Here the Call for Papers.
COMIUCAP recommends that experienced Scholars interested in applying to the position of Executive Dean of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University access the information here available as soon as possible.
World Philosophy Day (Roma, Nov. 20, 2014)
On November 20, 2014 COMIUCAP celebrated the «World Philosophy Day» (an initiative of UNESCO) with an Open Dialogue on the «Role and Mission of Philosophy in a Catholic Context» at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. For further information on this event of COMIUCAP, please, see: Program • Photos.
«On the Christian Roots of Europe» (RTP)
For the most part recorded on site in places such as Subiaco, Montecassino, Assis, San Casciano, Florence and Rome in June of 2013, the documentary we present here was produced and then broadcasted by the State Television of Portugal on December 24, 2013 (RTP2) and January 2, 2014 (RTP1). The Program was produced for RTP1 by the Journalist Fátima Campos Ferreira and the Reporter of Image Carlos Oliveira under the scientific advice of João J. Vila-Chã, professor for Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The documentary was particularly enriched by the contribution of Professor Joseph Weiler, President of the European University Institute in Florence, and was edited by Alexandre Leandro, chief-editor at the RTP. Originally titled (in Portuguese) «O Triunfo do Espírito», the documentary was conceived as (a rather unusual form of) narrative about (the Idea of) Europe and out of the recognition that for the present as for the future of the world a confront remains unavoidable with the cultural and the religious dimension of the Idea of Europe as we know it through the media of our cultural (and philosophical) history. We are grateful to all the Institutions that in places such as Subiaco, Montecassino, Assis, Florence, San Casciano and Rome allowed the team sent by the RTP to Italy to realize the work as intended and so contributed in a decisive way to this particular (and somehow peculiar) narrative about the Idea of Europe. Moreover, while expressing our best appreciation to the RTP for in times of scarcity having decided to produce and then broadcast this documentary on the Christian Roots of Europe, we also would like to acknowledge all the other sources and contributions integrated in the present documentary, beginning with the wonderful elements present in its sound-track. The present is a non-profit initiative and has no other intention but serve the causes of Education and promote the goal of an Europe united in the pursuit of Truth, Justice and Peace. Indeed, we are convinced that the Roots of Europe need to be continuously studied and rediscovered as when we penetrate the symbolic depths of «places» such as Athens, Jerusalem and Rome and so be permanently re-integrated in ever new thoughts and narratives about the meaning of Europe. This publication, therefore, is just a call of attention to as many persons as possible so that many more citizens of Europe and of the world at large come to realize how important in the cultural configuration of our day and age is the role to be played by the «Studia Humaniora», particularly by disciplines such as Philosophy and Theology, Art and History. − For further reflection on the «Christian Roots of Europe», we also recommend the documentary (cinematographic) produced by RAI and titled Campane d'Europa - Bells of Europe (2013).
World Congress & General Assembly of Comiucap
After Paris (2000), Mexico City (2004) and Manila (2008), the Fourth World Congress and General Assembly of COMIUCAP took place at St Augustine College in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 13-17 of November, 2013. The Keynote Addresses at the Congress were to be delivered by the following Speakers: Most Rev. Barthélemy Adoukonou (Bénin), Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture of the Vatican; Professor Philippe Capelle (France), of the University of Strasburg & Académie Catholique de France; Professor Joseph Agbakoba (Nigeria), of the University of Nigeria; Professor Bernard Feltz (Belgium), of the Catholic University of Louvain; Professor Vittorio Hösle (Germany), of the University of Notre Dame (USA); Dr. Salomón Lerner Febres (Perú), Rector-Emeritus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú. Professors from around the world presented their papers during the Congress. The General Assembly of the network dealt with important questions pertinent to both the present and the future of the organization. COMIUCAP aims at expressing in an Institutional Form some of the pragmatic implications to be derived from the impulses given to the Church and to the World by Blessed Pope John Paul II with the Encyclical Fides et Ratio. As a network, COMIUCAP is open to all major (and rigorous) philosophical expressions of the human spirit. We recognize, however, that the hermeneutical approach to Philosophy is at the heart of our self-understanding as network. Thus, mindful of the fact that our Congress and General Assembly took place during the year of the 100th Anniversary of the birth of a great Master of Hermeneutics and resourceful Philosopher of the in-between alliance of Faith and Reason, COMIUCAP took the occasion of its 4th World Congress to celebrate and acknowledge the lasting Memory of
Paul Ricœur (1913-2005).
After the welcoming remarks by the Rev. Dr. Michael Van Heerden, President of St. Augustine College, the Acting-President of COMIUCAP, given the unexpected absence of the Most Rev. Mons. Barthélemy Adoukonou, read to those assembled the Message that His Eminence Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, sent on the occasion of the Fourth World Congress and General Assembly COMIUCAP in Johannesburg. For us it was particularly important to have both the General Secretary of the International Federation of Catholic Universities, Professor Guy-Réal Thivierge, and the Honorary President of COMIUCAP, Professor Philippe Capelle-Dumont, intervene during our Proceedings, one during the Opening Ceremony and the other as one of the five Keynote Speakers we had the pleasure to listen to during the Congress. The papers presented in the Congress of Johannesburg will be published on due time. Regarding the General Assembly of COMIUCAP, the main novelties are the following: 1. Professor João J. VILA-CHÃ (Pontifical Gregorian University) was elected President of COMIUCAP for the term 2013-2017; 2. the following Nominations for Vice-Presidents were rectified and approved by the General Assembly that took place at St Augustine College on November 16, 2013: Professor Joseph AGABAKOBA (Madonna University, Nigeria) Vice-President for Africa; Professor Janis OZOLINS (Australian Catholic University), Vice-President for Asia-Oceania; Professor Miguel GARCIA-BARÓ (Universidad Pontificia Comillas), Vice-President for Europe; Rector-Emeritus Dr. Salomón LERNER FEBRES (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), Vice-President for Latin-America; Professor Brendan SWEETMAN (Rockhurst College), Vice-President for North-America. Pictures of the World Congress of COMIUCAP in Johannesburg are available here (by Dr. Dan Chitoiu) & here (by Dr. Wojciech Szypula). Memories of our Excursion to Soweto and the Apartheid Museum can be found here and here as well (video of the Offertory during the Mass at St Martin de Porres Parish). Enjoy the pictures and/or the memory of our time together in South Africa! − In the Revised Edition of the PROGRAM & ABSTRACTS of the Congress, the reader can find both the Annual Reports presented in Johannesburg as well as the Final Report on the Proceedings of the Fourth General Assembly of COMIUCAP.
Members of the network are kindly requested to answer our SURVEY as soon as possible. Further information on the main goals and objectives of the network is available on this site. With a simple Registration Form and easy ways for making Payments, the process of Becoming a Member of COMIUCAP is now easy and convenient. We welcome Feedback from our Members as of anyone interested in the causes of Philosophy. We also invite you to visit and LIKE our FACEBOOK Page. As a global (catholic) network of institutions engaged in philosophical research and teaching, we acknowledge the gift of our heavenly Protector and by means of one of the beautiful flower-arrangements we had in Johannesburg we also say: Together, striving for Goodness, Truth and Beauty, we shall serve better the causes of Philosophy and of a renewed Humanism for the global times of today!