World Congress Panel

Iasi RVP Center participated in the 24th World Congress of Philosophy: Learning to Be Human held in Beijing on 13-20 August 2018 with a panel titled Re-learning to Be Human for Global Times: The Role of Intercultural Encounters.

The panel, which was moderated by Prof. Dan Chitoiu, featured a presentation of the Center’s activity and included discussions of concepts such as strangification and cultural translation in an attempt to better grasp the role of intercultural encounters in (re)learning to be human.

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August invitation: through the ceiling

Be it for a sacred space or a seat of power, a common area or a private room, the ceiling represents the upper limit of livable space, as perceived from within. It transforms natural space into a domestic environment. Ceilings are paradoxical elements: their protective obstruction can be creatively turned into a physical or symbolic opening to the above, thus making present what they conceal.

In older and newer cultures alike, ceilings function not so much as a boundary of vision, but as a reflection of a reality which is otherwise not visible and which permeates or makes itself present through this particular physical border. The architecture of roofs and the treatment of the ceilings ultimately reflect a culture’s understanding and symbolic representation of what is above, a beyond opening from top to bottom.

Have you ever noticed a remarkable ceiling? How does it reflect the material heritage and spiritual intuitions of a culture?

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Workshop preview

Here is one example for our Workshop on Artifacts in Intercultural Encounters:

The National Pastime of America: Baseball. Why is a slow, plodding game,  derived from Cricket, the favorite sport of a nation of frenetic activity and constant change?


by John Farina

Feel free to bring any artifact you consider relevant or its image/sound recording, accompanied by a one-page commentary.

Intercultural encounters: moving to the other

IMG3.1When passing one’s own cultural gate, an intermediate space opens up where the signs of one’s culture and of other(s) co-exist… The path features a new, unexpected opening – the opening above, the blinding light of the beyond offering that which cannot be anticipated or encompassed. Can you think of other such transitional spaces?

Intercultural encounters: the key

IMG2.3To pass the gate to cultural encounters and spiritual opening, it is necessary to find the key. We must each look for a key that fits our own horizon, our own gates back home. Some keys will not work, yet they must be tried. This too is part of the experience, preparing for what lies beyond…

Question: In your own cultural and spiritual environment, what are some instances of the cultural need of the other? What triggers the need to understand the other, the one belonging to a different cultural and spiritual space? Can you illustrate such instances with pictures?

Intercultural encounters: need of the other (continued)

IMG2.1In looking at this gate to the world outside – a gate carrying the combined marks of distinct cultural spaces and spiritual traditions – one meditates on the potentialities beyond the gate, on the possibilities of encounters as anticipated by their cultural and mental horizon. This time the search is not solitary; it is pursued in the presence of others at home.