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Reporting on Ideas, Projects & Activities
[2017/11/27] • Recipient of the Karl-Otto Apel International Prize for Philosophy (11th edition). Among the recipients of this Prize, in 2017 granted for the first time since the Passing of Professor Dr. Dr. Karl-Otto Apel (May 15, 2017), are Gianni Vattimo (2007), Raúl Fornet-Betancourt (2008), Giacomo Marramao (2009), Adela Cortina (2013), Reinhard Hesse (2015).
[2017/11/11-13] • Participation in Washington, DC on the Board Meeting of The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy and in the tribute paid by the Catholic University of America to the Memory of the Rev. Professor George F. McLean OMI (1928-2016).
[2017/11/7-10] • Participation as co-organizer (with prof. Jeffrey Bloechl, from Boston College, and prof. Brendan Sweetman, Vice-President of COMIUCAP for North America in the International Conference on Educating for Modern Democracy: Philosophy and Society at the Crossroads. The event took place at (and with major support from) Boston College and corresponded to the Regional Meeting of COMIUCAP for North America.
[2017/08/21-09/22] • Participation as Academic Moderator in the International Seminar “Relerning to be Human in/for Global Times: Understanding the Meaning of Being Human Across Cultures and Civilizations”. This event was organized by The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP) and sponsored by the McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values (CSCV) at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. [August 21-September 22, 2017]. The Participants came from countries such as: United States, Italy, Slovakia, Russia, Poland, China, Vietnam, India, Tanzania, etc.
[2017/09/5-8] • Participation in the International Conference «El Conflicto de las Facultades: Sobre la Universidad y el Sentido de las Humanidades» organized by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú from September 5-8, 2017 in Lima, Perú, as part of the commemorations of the first hundred years of the Institution, one of the largest and most influential in the continent (1917-2017). For acess to the contributions of some of the members of the governing body of COMIUCAP to this important event, see as follows: Miguel Giusti (Peru), Miguel Garcia-Baró (Spain); Salomón Lerner Febres (Peru) & João J. Vila-Chã (Portugal/Italy).
[2017/07/07] • Participation in the V General Assembly of COMIUCAP at the University of Santo Tomas, Bogotá (Colombia). Beginning of the Second Term as President for the years 2017-2021. Here the Report of the President. For Photos of both the V World Congress and the V General Assembly of COMIUCAP in Bogotá, Colombia, please, click here.
[2017/07/04-09] • Co-organization and participation in Bogotá in the V World Congress of COMIUCAP. Here the Program and the Book of Abstracts. The event took place at the Universidad de Santo Tomás, the Universidad Javeriana and the Universidad de La Salle. The local organizer of the event was prof. Rafael Antolínez Camargo, of the Universidad Santo Tomás.
[2017/05/18] • Participation in Prague in a meeting led by Professor Tomas Halik, of the Charles University, on the Future of Religion. This project, if approved, will be realized under the auspices of the Templeton Foundation. Focus of the research will be the integration of an Eastern European perspective with some of the many aspects of equivalent research in Western Europe and North America.
[2017/04/20-22] • Regional Meeting of COMIUCAP-Africa at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi on The Role of Philosophy in the African Context: Traditions, Challenges, and Perspectives. The meeting was co-organized with Dr. Stephen Okello and brought together Scholars from different Universities in Kenya and diverse countries in Africa. For more information, please, access here, here, and here.
[2017/03/19-24] • Board Meeting of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy in Washington DC. Public Presentation of the Book Renewing the Church in the Secular Age at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC.
[2016/11/07-14] • Follow-up on the publication of the book (with Charles Taylor, José Casanova and the late professor George F. McLean) on Renewing the Church in the Secular Age in Washington, DC.
[2016/11/02-07] • Organization of the 2016-Meeting of the Administrative Board of COMIUCAP at the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. Participation in the Annual Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. [Photos]
[2016/10/24-31] • Participation in a series of philosophical events organized by the Philosophy Department at Boston College with the participation of both professor Richard Kearney and Emmanuel Falque.
[2016/08/08-09/10] • Participation as Academic Moderator in the International Seminar on the “Interactions of Power, Justice and Love: Multicultural Perspectives” at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
[2016/07/02-11] • Participation in Shangrao, Wuhan and Beijing (China) in a series of philosophical discussions on the Role of Philosophy in Contemporary Times.
[2016/06/18-22] • Participation at the Institut Catholic of Paris on an International Conference on occasion of the 800th Anniversary of the foundation of the Dominican Order by St. Dominic of Guzmán.
[2016/06/18-22] • Participation in São Leopordo, Brasil, in the preparation of the International Conference to be held at the UNISINOS in September of 2017 on occasion of the 400th Anniversary of Francisco Suarez’ death in 1617.
[2016/05/21-24] • Participation in Bogotá, at the Universidad Santo Tomas in the second organizational meeting of the V World Congress and General Assembly of COMIUCAP in 2017 (with Professor Salomón Lerner, Vice-President for Latin-America).
[2016/04/20-22] • Participation in the Conferene “Sur l’enracinement” organized by the Université Saint Esprit de Kaslik in Lebanon.
[2015/09/24-26] • Participation in the Symposium on the Philosophical Problem of God organized by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Salamanca.
[2015/09/01-03] • Participation in the International Symposyum on «The Culture of Peace in a World immersed in Conflict», organized by the Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro.
[2015/08/16-09/19] • Participation as Academic Moderator in the International Seminar “Religion, Reconciliation and Peace: Philosophical Perspectives” at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
[2015/07/20-22] • Co-organization and Participation in the Regional Conference of COMIUCAP for Asia and Oceania in Melbourne, Australia. Here the public notice written (with a few changes) for the site of the International Federation of Catholic Universities: «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 co-organized with the Australian Catholic University (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). This conference corresponded to the Regional Congress of COMIUCAP for the Region of Asia-Oceania in the year 2015. Here the Program and the Book of Abstracts as well as a Group Photo and other pics of the event. We express here our deep gratitude to Professor John Ozolins and to the accademic authorities of the Australian Catholic University for making this important event possible. Together with Professor Ozolins, our Vice-President for Asia/Oceania, we thank Mr. Fatih Erol Tuncer for all the efforts made in regard to so many details as requested for the success of this particular event.»
[2015/07/13-17] • Participation in the General Assembly of the IFCU/FIUC in Melbourne, Australia.
[2015/07/8-10] • Participation in the Conference «Expanding the Jesuit Higher Education Network: Collaborations for Social Justice» in Melbourne (Australia). The event was organized by Fr. Michael Garanzini SJ, Secretary for Higher Education at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus and Chancelor of the Loyola University Chicago. The event counted with the participation from Jesuits and Lay Collaborators from many countries and was particularly marked by the presentation of the document on «The Promotion of Justice in the Universities of the Society» by means of a video-documentary that includes the participation of the Most Rev. Father Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
[2015/03/4-6] • Co-organization (with Professor George McLean and the leading team of the Research Council for Values and Philosophy – RVP) of the joint International Conference «Renewing the Church in a Secular Age: Holistic Dialogue and Kenotic Vision» took place in Rome from March 4-5, 2015. The event was born out of a special partnership established for this occasion between the School of Philosophy of the Pontificia Università Gregoriana and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy and counted with the High Patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture of the Holy See. In this Internationcal Conference participated, among others, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Charles Taylor,José Casanova, Hans Joas, William Desmond, Tomas Halík, Robert Schreiter, Adela Cortina, Juan Carlos Scannone,Massimo Grilli, Anthony Carrol, Adriano Fabris, Peter Jonkers, William Barbieri, etc. The event at the Pontifical Gregorian University was followed by an edition of the «Cortile dei Gentili». A complete set of videos and photos is available for your information.
[2014/12/17-19] • Co-organization (with Professor Miguel Garcia-Baró), promotion and participation in the Regional Congress of COMIUCAP for Europe on Philosophy and the Future of Human Formation in Europe. The event took place at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, in Madrid (Spain) and was particularly enriched with the inclusion of a commemorative session on the 150 anniversary of Miguel de Unamuno, one of the most outstanding thinkers and writers of the Spanish language. COMIUCAP is grateful to all the participants in this event but recognizes in particular both the contribution of the Keynote Speakers (Prof. Emmanuel Falque, Prof. Carla Canulo, Prof. Markus enders and Prof. Miguel Garcia-Baró) as well as the multiple technical assistance granted by Dª Diana Ausin, a dedicated Student of Philosophy at the local University.
[2014/11/20] • Organization and promotion of COMIUCAP’s celebration of the World Philosophy Day-2014 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The event took the form of a Open-Dialogue among a select number of Italian Colleagues. A small group of Graduate Students from the Pontifical Gregorian University also participated. A Report on this celebration of the World Philosophy Day in Rome can be accessed here. Another Report was also elaborated with the help of two other participants and can be accessed here as well. [Photos]
[2014/11/4-7] • Participation in Nairobi (Kenya) in the International Conference on «Impacts of Real Contexts in Doing Theology» organized by The Catholic University of Eastern Africa on the occasion of the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Theological Institutions (CICT-COCTI). Here a few pictures that document this COCTI event. This event was also occasion for the presentation of some of the results from the world-wide research promoted by FIUC/IFCU of the values and attitudes of Students at Catholic Institutions of Higher Education. [Photos]
[2014/10/8-9] • Participation in Paris, France, in the International Conference titled «Nouveaux défis pour l’Ukraine et pour l’Europe: Théologie, Étique, Politique» organized by the Ukrainian Catholique University (Lvyv), a Member of COMIUCAP. The event took place at the «Collège des Bernardins» and counted, among others, with the presence of the following persons: Mgr. Boris Gudziak, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, Prof. Peter McCormick, Prof. José Casanova, Prof. Antoine Arjakovsky. Here a Report on the event.
[2014/08/16-09/20] • Accademic moderator of the International Seminar on “Religion and the Hermeneutics of Violence and Peace in Contemporary Times” organized and promoted by The Council for Research in Philosophy and Values at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
[2014/07/23-27] • Preparatory Meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, at the Universidad Santo Tomas, of the Fifth World Congress and General Assembly of COMIUCAP. This meeting had also the participation of the Vice-President of COMIUCAP for Latin-America, Professor Salomón Lerner.
[2014/07/15-22] • Participation in the Annual Meeting of Latin-American Jesuits in Quito, Ecuador, on the phenomenological study of religion. [Photos]
[2014/06/14-17] • Participation in Vienna (Austria) in a Meeting organized by Professors George F. McLean and Charles Taylor in preparation of the International Conference «Renewing the Church in the Secular Age» to be held as cooperative effort between the Pontificia Università Gregoriana, The Council for Research in Philosophy and Values and the COMIUCAP.
[2014/05/15-17] • Participation in Lyon, France, in the Meeting of the European Federation of Catholic Universities (FUCE), an event that took place at the Catholic University of Lyon and was dedicated to the Ethical Issues that are present, and determine, both teaching and research at Catholic Universities in Europe. Special importance was given to the meaning of the Idea of Europe when it comes to the determination of both goals and methods present or to be developed by the Catholic Universities in Europe. The Participation of COMIUCAP was limited to the general Proceedings of the Colloquium.
[2014/04/23-25] • Participation in Liverpool, United Kingdom, in the 25th Colloquium of ACISE, the Sectorial Group of IFCU for the Sciences of Education. The theme of this meeting, wonderfully organized by Hope University, was «Being Open to Others» and gathered a substantial number of Participants from different parts of the world. On the occasion we also had a meeting of the Sectorial Groups of IFCU. [Photos].
[2014/03/10-13] • Participation in Madrid, Spain, in the 85th Board of Administration of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU). [Photos]
[2014/01/31-02/02] • Participation in Pune, India, in the International Conference «Themes and Issues in Eastern and Western Hermeneutical Traditions» organized by the Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth in commemoration of the outstanding services to catholic philosophy in India by the late Professors De Semet and De Marneffe. The conference aimed at «tracing the ever expanding horizon of human understanding, which includes many of the significant contemporary attempts to cope with and make meaning of the significant contemporary attempts to cope with and make meaning of the complex and paradoxical human existance». The conference did indeed bring together scholars from India, Australia and the USA, the Philippines, Venezuela and the Vatican (including scholars from Goa and Portugal). Here a few pictures of the event. In the following days, besides a private visit to Ajanta and to Elora, the President of COMIUCAP also joined some of the proceedings that in the same institution, which is an active Member of COMIUCAP, took place on the issues related to the relationship between Science/Technology and Philosophy/Theology. [Photos]
[2013/11/13-17] • Organization of the Fourth World Congress and General Assembly of COMIUCAP in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the General Assembly, on November 16, 2013, Prof. João J. Vila-Chã was unanimously elected as President of COMIUCAP for the period 2013-2017. On the occasion, the new President of the network reported on the activities of COMIUCAP for the years 2009-2013 to the Delegates of the Institutional Members of COMIUCAP, who gave their approval. Here the Final Report on the Fourth General Assembly of COMIUCAP in Johannesburg. [Photos] [Photos] [Photos]
[2013/08/04-10] • Participation in the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy in Athens (Athens, 4-10 of August, 2013). The event, to use the words of Professor Konstantinos Boudouris, President of the Hellenic Organizing Committee, was «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 World Congress does indeed represent an «important cultural institution» and should be seen as a meaningful platform for the «forging of universal values that address the common human issues of our times». Through the countless papers presented and the many conversations that took place, the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy, despite the serious crisis affecting Greece at the time of its realization, was a considerable success.
[2013/08/20-24] • Participation in an European conference dedicated to the topic «Secularization and Evangelization» organized by the European Association of Jesuits in the Social Sciences, in Lvyv (Ukraine) (20-24 of August, 2013). One of the lines of thought developed in the conference had to do with the frequent lament that religion is on the decline. It was shown how many sociologists of religion tend to explain the ongoing distance of many Europeans to the Church in terms of individualization. Georg Simmel was the first to analyze the phenomenon, placing the understanding of man at the intercession of a multiplicity of societal phenomena. As for Simmel, it is relevant to consider that the contemporary phenomenon of secularization is inseparable from the processes attached to the growing urbanization of human life. The conference in Lvyv touched many aspects of the problem, whereby the connection between social differentiation and individualization was shown as becoming more and more obvious. The concept of individualization in the present context came basically to mean that what before was a source of security and meaning is now seen just as a mere source of constraint. In line with the thought of Charles Taylor, prof. Franz Xavier Kaufmann, for example, underlined the idea that the best explanation we have for religion is personal need. Hence the importance of recognizing that religion is destined neither to disappear nor to have a serious return; rather, we are confronted with a significant process of pluralization in contemporary societies.
[2013/08/01-03] • Participation in the congress that the RVP-Council for Research in Values and Philosophy organized and promoted on «Culture and Philosophy as Ways of Life in Times of Global Change» (Athens, 1-3 of August, 2013). The event took place in the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens just before the beginning of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy, in Greece. The location of the conference in Athens was in itself a unique context to promote reflection on one of the topics that is most present in the praxis of the RVP, namely, to consider the many ways in which philosophy emerges from culture. In the program of the conference were important philosophers from some of the great cultures of the world, all of them very capable of opening up serious discussion not only about the significance of philosophy in and for culture, but also on the contribution that cultures can and need to make for the ongoing transformation of Philosophy within the global context of a changing world. On the first day of the Conference, the accent was put on the philosophical rediscovery of the nature and evolution of culture in the last fifty years, a process that is inseparable from the work of thinkers such as Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur, but also from the many initiatives and publications that the RVP has been able to bring forth with the help of many philosophers in all continents, all of which were called to relate their own cultural heritages to the many changes taking place in contemporary cultures and societies. Richard Cohen, from the University of Buffalo, enriched us with the many insights of Emmanuel Levinas; Mark Gedney, from Gordon College, addressed issues related to the social role of the body: the present writer submitted a contribution towards the transformation of metaphysics by the power of agapic love; Enrique Dussel, from the Universidad Autónoma de México, presented the challenges that the material and embodied condition of the human condition present to philosophy; Indra Nath Choudhuri, from the University of New Delhi, elaborated on the deep sense of the Self in Indian Philosophy; Gholamreza A’avani, from the Iranian Academy of Philosophy, drawing on the Islamic cultural tradition, presented important considerations on the relation of spirit and matter, mind and body, as an integrated whole; M.B. Ramose, of the University of South Africa, explained the cultural resources and prospects for Philosophy from an African point of view while Tu Weiming, from the Harvard-Yenching Institute and Peking University, did the same from a Chinese perspective. The papers presented were numerous and the number of persons attending was close to two hundred. We have some pictures regarding the Pre-Congress organized by the Research Council for Values and Philosophy, the «Global Dialogue Prize» given to Professor George 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, about the debate on the «Future of Metaphysics» led by Professor Oliva Blanchette (Boston College). The small set of images also underlines the participation of Professor Jürgen Habermas (Frankfurt) in the World Congress at an event 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 others. [Photos]
[2013/07/28-30] • Participation in the International Conference «Philosophy and Crisis: Challenges to Our Ways of Life in the Contemporary World» organized by the Sector of Philosophy of the University of Ioannina (Greece) in cooperation with RVP-Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (28-30 of July, 2013). The departing point for this interesting and rich conference was the notion of crisis, a concept that in the modern and late modern world brings Philosophy to deep reflections upon questions such as the ones about nihilism (Nietzsche), about the decline of the West (Spengler), about the crisis of European humanity (Husserl) or about that critical line that for Heidegger represents both the danger and the possibility of the turn (Kehre). The Congress, nicely organized by a team led by Dr. Golfo Maggini, explored the various meanings and functions of Crisis both in classical as well as in modern philosophy. In the sense of a crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending, crisis was already very much present in the Socratic quest for general definitions of the moral virtues and even in his search for convincing answers to the fundamental question about how human life is to be lived. The moderns, however, attached to crisis the unprecedented dimension of historicity, an understanding that incorporates both an annihilation and a revelation. Situated in-between two continuous states of affairs, crisis is destined to be not just destructive, but also sign of instant, often unexpected, flourishing. The Conference in Ioannina marked an important moment in the process of situating the question of crisis, one of the most relevant when it comes to the re-definition of the very tasks of Philosophy.
[2013/06/08-09] • Participated in Vienna (Austria) in the ongoing Seminar organized by RVP-The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy on «Faith in the Secular Age» and the Four Disjunctions presented by Charles Taylor in the follow-up to his monumental The Secular Age (8-9 of June, 2013). The Seminar counted with the presence of Professor Charles Taylor and Professor José Casanova and about a dozen or so other scholars coming from the United States and Europe. The convener of this important Seminar was Professor George McLean, Founder and President of RVP. In his initial remarks, Professor McLean formulated the problem on the table asking again the question that moves Charles Taylor in the realization of his own analyses of the phenomenon of secularity: How is it that in the last 400 years we went from a situation in which there was almost no difficulty to believe to a situation in which, as in our time, it seems so radically difficult to accept the faith? Hence the challenge: to recognize that here is no escape from culture and, thus, that we must respond to the challenges of contemporary culture. This is all the more important as because of technology we have now a renewed opportunity to make the Mission of the Church truly universal.
[2013/05/23-25] • Participation in «2013 East-West Theological Forum» organized in Seoul, South Korea, by The Methodist Theological University (23-25 of May, 2013). The topic of this Meeting was the concept of Imago Dei and had contributions from Scholars from both the East and the West, among them the following: Anselm Min (South Korea & USA), Kuruvilla Pandikattu (India), Robert Russell (USA), Jens Schröter (Germany), Allan Torrance (Scotland), Youn Chul-Ho (South Korea), among others. The event was organized by Dr. Heung Myung Oh (South Korea) and Prof. Christoph Schwöbel (Germany).
[2013/01/28-30] • Participation in the International Symposium «Iglesia Católica y Fundación de las Universidades» organized by the UCAB-Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, de Caracas (28-31 of January, 2013). The event, organized by Dr. Corina Yoris, took place as part of the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the foundation of the University. The initiative involved also the Seminario Arquidiocesano de Caracas and the Sociedad Venezuelana de Filosofía. Together with two colleagues from the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland), Dr. Piotr Jaronszynski and Dr. Pawel Tarasiewicz, we also had a round-table discussion on the Mission and Identity of a Catholic University, which took place on January 31 in the city of Puerto Ordaz. The UCAB-Universidad Católica Andrés Bello is an active member of COMIUCAP.
[2013/01/21-25] • Participation au Colloque International «Justice, cultures et charité»organisé par l’Institut Catholique de Paris, le Conseil Pontifical pour la Culture, la Délégation du Bénin à l’UNESCO, l’Université Nationale d’Abomey-Calavi, l’Université Catholique de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, l’Université Catholique de Yaoundé et l’Université Catholique de Kinshasa, en occasion du premier anniversaire de l’Exhortation Apostolique Africæ Munus sur «l’Église en Afrique au service de la réconciliation, de la justice et de la paix », signée par le Pape Benoît XVI à Ouidah (Bénin) le 19 novembre 2011 (21-25 Janvier, 2013). L’enjeu du Colloque était un double: 1. Envisager un renouvellement des théories philosophiques de la justice et de la démocratie, sur la base d’une prise en compte de la conflictualité, de l’interculturalité et de l’interreligiosité; 2. Évaluer l’apport du christianisme à la théorie et à la pratique de la justice et de la démocratie, en le confrontant notamment à l’apport de l’Islam et des religions traditionnelles africaines. En prenant compte du fait que la thématique du Colloque est tout à fait centrale aux préoccupations du réseau, la COMIUCAP a été particulièrement heureuse de pouvoir être associée avec cette importante initiative d’un de ses membres plus actives et manifestement au service de la philosophie et de son rôle particulier dans une Afrique toujours appelée à devenir fière de soi-même et passionnément engagée dans les procès de développement humain et social nécessaires au triomphe d’une justice que soit toujours meilleure et d’une paix définitivement ouverte à la transcendance et au Dieu qui donne fondement et justification à nos meilleurs désirs de Liberté, de Justice, Paix et Beauté. A l’occasion de l’ouverture solennelle du Colloque et en présence d’autorités civiles et académiques telles que le Secrétaire du Pontificale Conseil pour la Culture du Saint Siège, le ministre d’Éducation du Bénin, le Doyen et des professeurs de la Faculté de Philosophie de l’Institut Catholique de Paris, et d’un nombreux publique constitué par professeurs de différentes Universités africaines, journalistes et d’autre personnes intéressés au thème du Colloque, le Président en exercice de la Comiucap a eu la possibilité de prononcer parmis autres les paroles suivantes: «Dès les premiers siècles de son histoire et bien plus encore depuis le dernier Concile, la tâche éducationnelle reste toujours au cœur de la Mission spécifique de l’Église. Dans le Vatican II, l’Église reconnaît l’impossibilité même de réaliser son obligation fondationelle, celle de témoigner dans le monde la force et la puissance de la Foi en Jésus Christ, en l’absence d’hommes et de femmes en son sein formés pour l’excellence évangélique, et donc disponibles et capables d’entreprendre d’importantes et même décisives responsabilités tant à l’intérieur de l’Église que dans la société. Mais il est aujourd’hui plus difficile que jamais de donner un témoignage qualifié des vertus et des possibilités, c’est-à-dire, du sens anthropologique plus profond de la Foi en Jésus Christ, sans une formation constante et intégrale de la personne humaine. Comme champ de recherche et d’enseignement, la Philosophie en contexte catholique représente donc, comme tout savoir universitaire authentiquement humain, un service de particulière importance pour la véritable Éducation des jeunes générations et, par conséquent, pour la formation intégrale d’agents capables de promouvoir et implementer un vrai e propre renouveau social.» − Le Congrès fut organisé par l’Institut Catholique de Paris, membre de COMIUCAP.
[2012/12/01-03] • Participation in the Seminar organized by RVP-The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC on «Faith in the Secular Age» and the Four Disjunctions presented by Charles Taylor in the follow-up to his monumental The Secular Age (1-3 of December, 2012). The Seminar counted with the presence of Professor Charles Taylor and Professor José Casanova. The next meeting of this Seminar will take place in Vienna in June of 2013.
[2012/11/01-03] • Visit to St Augustine College of South Africa in order to take part in the Conference «Humanities and Social Sciences in an African Context: Education for Life» (1-3 of November, 2012). The main organizer of this Conference was Prof. Gerard Walmsley and in it participated Scholars from different parts of the world, among them the following: Professor John Haldane («Understanding the Human: The Necessity of Philosophy for Education and Research»), Professor Bert Olivier («The Significance of Human Sciences in the Age of Enframing»). Prof. Gerard Walmsley spoke on «What is a University For? Educating for Wisdom» and the acting-President of COMIUCAP spoke on «The Call of Vatican II for the Renewal of Catholic Education: «Gravissimum educationis» and the Idea of a Catholic University». This visit to Johannesburg, during which I also had a personal meeting with Rev. Dr. Michael van Heerden, President of St Augustine College, was decisive in terms of bringing to Africa the next World Congress and General Assembly of COMIUCAP. In general, during the visit to South Africa, we agreed on the importance of COMIUCAP addressing issues such as these: What are the questions that Catholic Philosophers must engage today? How to develop in a Catholic context a stronger awareness about the role of consciousness and promote a true recognition of human need for integration? Projects such as the following were also talked about: How to create in our day an effective alternative to the Weltanschauung propounded by the neurosciences? How to develop and make plausible an ethics that is truly holistic? We also agreed that COMIUCAP has the call to address questions such as these: What are the pressing issues in Philosophy today? What are the best alternatives to analytic philosophy in general and analytic ethics in particular? What kind of philosophical questions should the members of COMIUCAP and the network as such be pursuing? How to present, and justify, the need for Catholic Philosophy/Philosophers? What kind of fields and topics should the catholic philosopher of today make his/her own?
[2012/04/19-21] • Participation in the International Conference organized by the People’s Friendship University of Russia in Moscow (Russian Federation) on Philosophy and Spirituality Across Cultures and Religious Traditions(19-21 of April, 2012). The Conference was presided by Professor Nur Kirabaev, Vice-Rector for Research, and by Professor Vladimir Tsvyk, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Under the organizational leadership of Dr. Ruzana Pskhu, of the PFUR, the conference gathered participants from the following countries: Brazil, China, India, Iran, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and United States of America.
[2011/12/12] • Participation in a Meeting of the Sectorial Groups of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU/FIUC) (12 of December, 2012). The meeting took place in Paris, at the Headquarters of the Federation of Catholic Universities. Besides COMIUCAP, the Meeting counted with the participation of the following Sectorial Groups of IFCU/FIUC: ACISE – International Catholic Association de Institutos Católicos de Educación, represented by Prof. Juan Carlos Torre Puente (Universidad Pontificia Comillas); COCTI – Conference des Institutions Catholiques de Théologie, represented by Prof. Thierry-Marie Courau, o.p., of the Institut Catholique de Paris; the Sectorial Group for Sciences and Technology, represented by Prof. Pierre Becker of the École Centrale de Paris; the FIUCUP – Sectorial Group for Psychology, represented by Prof. Dominique Reniers, of the Université Catholique de Lille; FIUC-Social Sciences, represented by Prof. Fernando Vidal Fernández, of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas; the REDIF – European network of Institutes for the Family, represented by Prof. Carlos Perez Testor, of the Universitat Ramón LLull (Barcelona); the AIFMC – International Association of Catholic Schools of Medicine, represented by Prof. Ignacio Gómez, of the Universidad Católica de Valencia; FIUC-Politica – Sectorial Group for Political Science, represented by Prof. Miguel Ayuso of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid). The Meeting was coordinated by Prof. Mons. Guy-Réal Thivierge, General Secretary of FIUCA, and, among others, was privileged occasion to debate issues related to the Identity, Role, Mission and Function of each Sectorial Group actually in existence within the wider structure of the FIUC. We also dealt with the overall responsibilities of any Sectorial Group in FIUC as well as the diversity of structural and operational models that are both possible and actually in existence. Issues related to the Bologna Process, to the way the different Sectorial Groups could/should interact with one another, etc., were also dealt with. We consider this to be a Meeting of special importance for COMIUCAP. It certainly was highly relevant and very productive.
[2011/11/26-28] • Participation in the International Conference Religion and Culture: A Multicultural Discussion in Bambolim-Goa (India) on the occasion of the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Professor Francis D’Sa, SJ (26-28 of November, 2011). The Conference was organized by the Institute for the Study of Religion (Pune) and the participants were from: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, the Philippines, Portugal and the USA. This was an occasion of special importance for COMIUCAP since it gave the acting-President of COMIUCAP the opportunity to meet the representative of the Association of Christian Philosophers of India, Prof. Dr. Johnson Puthenpurackal former President of the Association and at present General Secretary of the Organization and Editor-in-chief of ACPI Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
[2011/10/28] • Participation as organizer and chair in a Satellite Session during the 2011 Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association(ACPA) in Saint Louis (Missouri, USA) on The Role of Philosophy in the Contemporary Catholic Context. The Speakers at this Satellite Session of the ACPA were the following: Prof. Oliva Blanchette (Boston College): “The Catholic Need for Philosophy: The Case of Maurice Blondel“; Prof. Dominic Balestra (Fordham University): “Where is Catholic Philosophy Today?”; Prof. Arthur Madigan (Boston College): “Philosophy and Catholic Modernity“; Prof. Holger Zaborowski (Catholic University of America): “Catholic Philosophy as Education Towards Reality”. Due to the limitations of time, Prof. João Vila-Chã (Gregorian University) made a very short presentation on the importance of COMIUCAP within the wider horizon of the ongoing process of «Networking in Catholic Philosophy».
[2011/08/20-09/22] • Participation in Washington DC at International Seminar on The Meaning of Justice and Responsibility in the Globalized World of Today. The Seminar was lead by the Acting-President of COMIUCAP and had the goal to explore possibilities for the renewal of the ethical life in our global age. In order to do so, two fundamental concepts were at the center of our reflection: responsibility and justice. The meta-ontological notion of responsibility led us some of the conditions for a new vision of what humanity is, particularly as much as ethics must be at the center of any form of authentic human life. Justice, on the other hand, was seen in constant reference to responsibility as well. The intended plan for the Seminar (it remained incomplete) was the following: 1. The Principles of Responsibility (w/ Max Weber and Hans Jonas); 2. The Nature of Responsibility (with Emmanuel Levinas); 3. The Transition from Responsibility to Justice (w/ Paul Ricoeur); 4. The relevance of the cultural and the religious contexts for the clarification of issues related to the integration of a deeper sense of responsibility with the notion of a better justice (with contributions from Asian, African and Latin-American thought as well as the perspectives derived from the three monotheistic religions). The participants were from countries such as: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Vietnam, United States of America, etc.
[2011/06/26-28] • Participation in Shanghai on the Symposium Revitalizing Chinese Culture: Values and Virtues for a Global Age, which was organized by the Department of Philosophy at Fudan University in conjunction with the Research Council for Values and Philosophy (Washington, DC) (26-28 of June, 2011).
The educational mission of the Church in the globalized world of today demands from Philosophy as of all the integrative parts of the University, a most serious engagement in the search for new ways and strategies leading up to an ever more effective dialogue between spheres apparently so heterogeneous as the ones of science and religion, faith and knowledge, ethics and the economy, person and society, culture(s) and truth. The fact that we continue to live in a world that continues to be so disfigured by violence and intolerance, suffering by the lack of justice and peace, demands from us a deeper understanding of the crucial importance for the world of today of the ideal of the Catholic University. As Pope John Paul II clearly taught and Pope Benedict xvi continues to remind us, the Ideal of the Catholic University remains crucial in any serious effort to re-order our personal and societal priorities, so that at the very heart of the University endeavor is the realization that Education continues to represent for the Church a most important Work of Love.
Thus, Comiucap is particularly happy to be associated with the Celebrations of the 400th Anniversary of the University Santo Tomas, the oldest University in Eastern Asia and today one of the most important instruments available to the Church and Civil Society in the Philippines for pursuing a development that is both integral and sustainable. Indeed, we wish UST a renewed energy and willingness to pursue Education as a Work of Love so that future generations when joining this University will continue to realize the plausibility and the importance of integrating realities only apparently heterogeneous like Faith and Reason, Science and Service, Truth and Justice.
Comiucap rejoices with this Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the University of Santo Tomas, one of its Members, and expresses to the distinguished Academic Authorities, all Teachers and the entire student body warm wishes and kind hopes of a present leading to a Future in which the UST will continue to consistently pursue that kind of excellence on the path of Wisdom and Service that made the past 400 years of her existence so memorable and so worthy of being remembered and celebrated today. Ad multos annos!
[2011/05/19-20] • Participation in the Symposium Alternative Reflections on Anti-Life Culture in the Globalized World organized by the Institute for Life and Culture at Sogang University, a Member of COMIUCAP (19-20 of May, 2011).
[2011/04/24-05/01] • The Acting-President of COMIUCAP visited Boston in order to meet with the Vice-President of COMIUCAP for North America, Professor Emeritus Richard Cobb-Stevens, of Boston College. The meeting took place on April 26th and was very pleasant and productive. We expressed to Professor Cobb-Stevens the appreciation of COMIUCAP for the many years in which, since the very foundation of our network in 1999, he served as Vice-President for North America. We agreed that the time has come to start the search for a new Vice-President of COMIUCAP for North America, a process that hopefully will be concluded on the occasion of the upcoming Regional Meeting of COMIUCAP in North America. On April 27th we met with Professor Artur Madigan, Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Boston College. The occasion served in the first place to introduce Professor Madigan to the present situation of COMIUCAP in North America and to express both our sincere appreciation for the role that Boston College has played since the foundation of COMIUCAP and the most urgent need of the network for the continuous engagement of Institutions like Boston College in the promotion of the goals of COMIUCAP in North-America. On April 28th a meeting took place with with Professor Oliva Blanchette, President of the International Society for Metaphysics (ISM). In this meeting also participated the Secretary of the ISM, Dr. Philipp Stambovsky, whereby we extensively discussed the following issues: 1. Cooperation between the ISM and COMIUCAP; 2. Ways to promote each one of the two organizations in North America. April 29th was dedicated to a series of meetings with Professor Emeritus George McLean (Catholic University of America, Washington), founder and President of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP), as well as with Ms. Hu Yeping, Executive Secretary of RVP. We agreed on things like the following: a.) the role that COMIUCAP could play in assisting other philosophical Groups and Societies (once they become members of the network) to fulfill their particular call and mission at the service of Philosophy in the world of today; b.) the possible mediating role of COMIUCAP in regard to initiatives coming from newly established Centers of Philosophical Research in countries like Russia and China; c.) the special vocation of RVP in the consistent recognition and promotion, both within as well as outside of the Catholic World of the intrinsic value and reflective potential of cultural diversity of our world today. In practical terms, moreover, we agreed that the process of cooperation between COMIUCAP and RVP should start immediately, so that: d.) the acting-President of COMIUCAP will lead the International Seminar of RVP in Washington (August 20-September 24) on “The Meaning of Justice and Responsibility in the Globalized World of today”; e.) COMIUCAP and RVP shall organize each year one or two Conferences in partnership; f.) RVP will publish selected papers in the English language presented during the International Congress “Person and Society” (Braga, 2007). – Interesting enough, it was during this short visit to the United States of America that we could read an interesting article published in the New York Times in which the author (Steinfels) mentioned the many initiatives that are taking place within the Catholic Church while at the same time referring the serious lack in the Church of something that should be considered absolutely essential for a more productive and well-calibrated intervention in the cultural world of today: consistent platforms! And the unavoidable thought was this: is precisely not this what COMIUCAP (at least in the philosophical realm) is just called to become?
[2011/01/07-09] • The Administrative Council of COMIUCAP was held in Rome, at the Pontifical Gregorian University (7-9 of January, 2011). Prof. João J. Vila-Chã, Acting-President of Comiucap since November 2009, presided over the meeting. The following Members of the Council were present: Professor Hubert Faes, of the Institut Catholic de Paris et Vice-President for Europe; Professor Néstor Corona, of the Universidad Católica Argentinaand Vice-President for Latin-America; Professor Noel Sheth, of the Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth / Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion in Pune and Vice-President for Asia and Oceania. Professor Georges Ndumba, of the Université Catholic du Congo and Vice-President for Africa was not in attendance because of an unexpected delay in the attainment of his visa for Europe; Professor Richard Cobb-Stevens, of Boston College and Vice-President for North America was unable to attend the meeting for personal reasons. The meeting was unanimously considered a success.