Church Renewal in a Secular Age (Rome, 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. 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. Abstracts and CV's of the Contributors to this International Conference as well as a long set of Preparatory Materials can be found here.
27/02/2015: Interview with Professor Charles Taylor (Avvenire).
Civil Society and Education (Melbourne, 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 Full Call for Papers. Deadline for the Submission of Proposals is March 15, 2015. Members of COMIUCAP (present and future) should take advantage of our Special Offer and Register Here. All persons that are not Members of COMIUCAP and/or are Residents of Australia, should instead register here.
Role and Mission of Philosophy Today (Roma)
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. The written Report on this event of COMIUCAP is here accessible. Photos & Videos are also available. On the occasion, AVVENIRE published a short article titled «Attualità della Filosofia? Sapere aprire all'amicizia e al trascendente». The author of this text is Professor Francesco Tomatis, one of the participants. If you are in Facebook and would like to discuss with others this event and/or the ideas shared in the Report, please, go here.
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 in the same day, Pope Francis also addressed the Council of Europe and 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?»
«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!
XXIII World Congress of Philosophy
«The World Congress of Philosophy provides a unique opportunity for philosophers, friends of philosophy and serious thinkers from all corners of the world to meet, to put forth ideas, exchange points of view, to argue and to present the fruits of their research to a unique and distinguished academic audience. The Congress is an outstanding cultural institution (...) that seeks to contribute to the forging of universal values that address the common human issues of our times; it is a place where clarity is sought regarding the Socratic challenge that reaches out to us even today, to old and young alike: “how one must live?” With these words of Professor Konstantinos Boudouris, President of the Hellenic Organizing Committee of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy in Athens (4-10 of August, 2013), COMIUCAP encouraged its Members to take part in this event of global significance for the Future of Philosophy and her mission in the global world of today. In conjunction with the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP), we also took active part in the Pre-Congress that took part in Athens from August 1-3, 2013. Here you can find pictures of the Pre-Congress organized by the Research Council for Values and Philosophy, of the «Global Dialogue Prize» given to Professor Georg McLean (Catholic University of America), the Commemoration of the first Hundred Years after the birth of Paul Ricoeur, with Richard Kearney (Boston College) and Peter Kemp (Copenhagen), as well as, among other events, the debate on the «Future of Metaphysics» led by Professor Oliva Blanchette (Boston College). The images also underline the participation of Professor Jürgen Habermas (Frankfurt) in a major event of the World Congress organized with the contribution of David Rasmussen (Boston College), as well as the participation of John P. Manoussakis, from Holy Cross, Jeffrey Bloechl (Boston College), Tu Weiming (Harvard and Beijing), Рузана Псху (Moscow), Robert Cohen (Buffalo), and many others. These pictures are also intended as a small indication of why we think that the XXIII Congress of Philosophy in Athens was, despite all the difficulties, a success.