Please note that the summer academy will be held in German so a good level understanding and communication in German is required (at least B1 as a guideline).
You can find out more information (inlcuing upcoming events) about Edith Stein in English from the International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein (IASPES). You can also watch videos of our previous lectures which have English subtitles here.
For reference, here are some details of the 2023 Summer Academy in English:
Freedom and Responsibility in the spirit of Edith Stein
The summer academy addresses the question of freedom by focusing on both Edith Stein’s own understanding of freedom but also in the academic perspectives in which Edith Stein herself worked, including from biblical, theological, philosophical, anthropological and spiritual perspectives.
The German-language summer academy in Rome will include a mix of study, prayer, disscusion, community and relaxation in the quiet atmosphere of the Pontifical Faculty Teresianum.
The topics include discussions around: the philosophical, theological and biblical foundations of freedom, the essence of personal freedom, freedom in social and political theory, freedom in psychology, and freedom and responsibilty in the digital world.
The summer academy will be held in German is primarily aimed at students, young researchers or anyone (up to the age of 35) who has an inquisitive mind (not only in philosophy and theology). It is aimed at people under 35, but we will consider all applications (although, due to the restricted capacity, preference will be given to those in the target group).
Lectures and Speakers
Freedom: First Philosophical and Biblical-Theological Explorations
Em. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Gabriel (Vienna)
The first day shall be devoted to exploring the terrain of freedom and liberation. Philosophically, freedom is central to understanding human beings, their development, as well as to modern thinking and the political order (rights to freedom). Biblically, the divine liberation (Exodus) is the basic date of Israel’s history. Freedom in Christ is the basis of Christian spirituality. We will therefore ask ourselves: How are these diverse ideas connected? What existential and social significance do they have for us today?
„To rise above oneself in personal freedom.“
Edith Stein on absolute and conditional freedom
Em. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz (Institut EUPHRat, Heiligenkreuz)
The mind of the person is naturally under measure and limitation. Nevertheless, she has the mysterious possibility of “raising herself above herself in personal freedom and absorbing a higher life”. The divine spirit penetrates into this possibility. She does not explode the finite spirit into infinity, but she is also in no way bound „to the measure of herto whom she gives hermself“. Thus the person does not himself become divine, he does not disappear in immeasurable size, but remains himself, in an unprecedentedly expanded form. It can even be said that in the person, by virtue of this free opening to the divine, creation is mediated upwards. Physical, plant and animal formations combine in the human being to form the unity of a being and at the same time open to the divine life.
From Ethos to Nomos:
When should our Ethics become Laws? When should Civil Disobediance be Considered?
Dr. Małgorzata Vormayr-Bogaczyck (Universität Posnań)
A person develops their freedom in the context of their social life: in the context of culture, morals, economic and political regulations and finally the law. Such „regulators“ have always been understood as oppressive – is that correct or is that exaggerated? The following questions are presented in the introductory lecture: How does an ethos of a group of people or even of society as a whole develop from the convictions of individuals? And when, under what conditions and with what methods of approach can one formulate a law (a nomos) from a practiced ethos that then affects everyone? How should one act when a law proves to be wrong? What is our responsibility? These are all basic questions of moral philosophy, ethics and legal philosophy. In the seminar we will try together to answer these using Edith Stein’s writings. In the analysis of her thoughts on anthropology and political philosophy, as well as her individual letters, we see the example of Edith Stein as a thinker for peace and to show the relevance of her approaches for the modern view of civil disobedience.
Γνῶθι σεαυτόν! The Capacity of our Inner Being to make Free Decisions and the Consequent Responsibility towards Ourselves and Others.
Prim. Dr. David Oberreiter (Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Linz)
Some, from a psyychological or anthropological perspective postulate, due to organic determinism and cultural constraints, freedom in making one’s own decisions is an illusion. So, are we incapable of making free decisions? Edith Stein offers a way out of this dilemma. She writes that truly free decisions are possible when one knows their inner self well. Inner recognition and awareness are prerequisites for a targeted response to one’s own needs and the requirements of the world. Responsibility is a freely decided, conscious response to the world.
Theology meets Technology: Freedom and Responsibility in the Digital World
P. Dr. Lukasz Steinert OCD (Rome)
Prof. Dr. Edda Pulst (Westfälische Hochschule, Gelsenkirchen)
„You were called to freedom“ (Gal 5:13), writes the apostle Paul to the churches in Galatia. At the same time, he warns them to use freedom correctly. What was relevant in Asia Minor in the first century has still retained its meaning over the centuries: Freedom does not only have theorectical significance, but also, under various conditions, to find concrete ways and forms of freedom for living. But what happens when theological content and spiritual practices meet the latest technological developments? When digital twins and augmented reality encounter the creation from Psalm 8? What risks, challenges, but also opportunities for freedom arise in the digital reality of life and work? How can digitization be used to responsibly shape the professional world and the climate? A theologian and a technologist discuss and offer insights, intriguing questions, suprising experiences, and examples from the Middle East to Greenland.
20th to 26th August 2023
Piazza di San Pancrazio 5A, I-00152 Roma, Italy.
The conference costs €300, which includes accomodation and board. Most rooms are private although some may be shared (when the maximum capacity is reached). Travel to and from the venue is not included. Capacity is limited to 20. Reductions for students are available on request.
You can register using this form.
Tel. : +43 (0)501 322 2070
Website of the Edith Stein Gesellschaft Austria: www.edith-stein-gesellschaft.at
Website of the Discalced Carmelites in Austria: www.karmel.at,