Education and Formation – A Life-Long Endeavour Inspiring the Mind, Forging Character, Filling the Heart and Soul

About the Seminar

People have never been more educated than they are today. And yet, degrees we earn at universities do not necessarily make us immune to unreasonable political conduct nor prevent us from developing “post-truth” attitudes and filling our “public square” with explicit disdain and disrespect towards each other.

The world has never seen a greater demand for education. Rapid technological advancement has unleashed and made visible a massive and globally distributed desire of millions to earn new knowledge and skills. Yet, as the first two decades of the 21st made evident, there is no simple and straightforward correlation between the level of citizens’ commitment to learning and the success of democratic projects.

Both the drifting of power into the hands of radical political associations and pronounced disintegrative tendencies in the European Union make it clear that even long-standing democratic traditions can be shaken and seemingly well-balanced, reflective, political communities can be torn apart. Meanwhile, the deliberate deepening of old cultural, ethnic, and religious wounds proves to be a highly effective strategy to spread chaos and mistrust in the public sphere and legitimize the heated confrontation of interests rather than consensus-oriented dialogue among values and reasons. One of the implications is that the future of democracy largely depends on whether or not education turns out to be capable of restoring political ideals, reinforcing the power of reason, and fostering a morally sensitive culture.

This international seminar is about different aspects of education’s fundamental purpose of cherishing the dignity of human personhood, such as giving meaning to life, exercising moral virtues encapsulated in religious traditions, forming good citizens of a liberal polity, cultivating the sense of responsibility, transmitting skills and capabilities needed for social, economic and cultural integration thereby realizing human creative potential, and so forth. Seminar speakers will reflect both on the prospects of tackling the current problems of education and on the future challenges emerging out of the unfolding dimensions of the information age.

The seminar will consist of three distinct, albeit interrelated, panels—each one dealing with a specific aspect of education and formation.

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