Can Christianity inspire a global culture?
In modern times society has often been built upon the values of liberty and tolerance, dialogue, equality, and the search for peace. Although they are often difficult to put into practice, these principles have a special force which engenders their universal appreciation by men from the most distinct countries and even allows them to serve as the basis of a global culture.
In his discourse to the University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome in 2008, Benedict XVI acknowledged that our understanding and recognition of human rights have increased thanks to the notable development of the sciences in Modernity.
He added that this is an achievement for which we should indeed be thankful. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict also pointed out that this modern heritage is jeopardized if it forgets that its roots are grounded in the Christian faith: “if our culture seeks only to build itself on the basis of the circle of its own argumentation, on what convinces it at the time, and if – anxious to preserve its secularism – it detaches itself from its life-giving roots, then it will not become more reasonable or purer, but will fall apart and disintegrate.”
The UNIV Forum 2010 wants to contribute to current thought on the role played by the Christian conceptions of the person, of society, and of history in the establishment of principles which can give life to an authentically global culture.
The following are some possible areas of reflection for UNIV 2010:
- The role of the concepts of human person, society, happiness, etc., in economic thought. Are they only one more option among various models and policies?
- When it comes to making laws, how can one design a juridical system capable of welcoming people of radically diverse convictions?
- The need for Christians to communicate their own beliefs while respecting the freedom of others and still having a real influence on society.
- The philosophical debate on whether transcendence and an acknowledgement of God are a necessary basis for a global culture.
- The human and moral formation of the leaders of contemporary societies.
- The origin of the Modern Constitutional State as a defender of the dignity of the person and guarantor of liberty and political participation.
These themes are just a few possible examples. The goal of the Organizing Committee of the UNIV Forum 2010 is to open an international discussion, among both professors and students, on the Christian basis of the values of a global culture.